Airlines may soon be required to issue refunds for delayed luggage and in-flight internet service not working

  • Airlines may soon need to refund for delayed luggage and a lack of in-flight internet, AP reports.
  • The Department of Transportation will propose this in the coming days, according to the AP.
  • Bags would need to be delivered within 12 hours of a US landing or 25 hours of an international one.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Airlines could soon be on the hook to refund fees over delayed luggage and a lack of in-flight internet, according to the Associated Press

A proposal from the Department of Transportation would make airlines refund fees on checked bags if they aren’t delivered within 12 hours of the passenger’s US flight landing — or within 25 hours of their international flight landing.

It would also force airlines to refund fees for in-flight internet if it is not made available during the flight. 

The proposal will be issued in the coming days and could be implemented by next summer, according to the AP. 

Currently, airlines only have to issue refunds for lost baggage. They also have to compensate passengers for  “reasonable, verifiable, and actual incidental expenses” incurred during the delay, according to the department

Before the pandemic hit the air travel industry, airlines reported collecting more than $5.7 million in baggage fees in 2019, according to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. This figure was just over $2.8 million in 2020. American, Delta, and United airlines received the most in checked baggage fees. 

American Airlines hiked these fees for its basic economy passengers last April, raising them to $75 from $60. At the time, the carrier said it made the change to “better align our bag fee structure with our Atlantic Joint Business partners, British Airways, Iberia, and Finnair.” United Airlines raised its own fees by $5 earlier in 2020, bringing the cost of a passenger’s first checked bag to $35 and their second to $45. JetBlue Airways implemented the same increase in January 2020. American, United, JetBlue and Delta all also bumped prices in 2018, with each carrier upping the cost of a passenger’s first checked bag to $30.  


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