By: Mary Schwager GALTime.com Consumer Watchdog
As complaints about airlines rose, Uncle Sam decided to crack down. The US Department of Transportation issued brand new rules to protect passengers from what some called "airline abuses" and they go into effect today. What can you expect the next time you're flying?
- Time limits on tarmac delays: The new rule prohibits domestic flights from sitting on the tarmac for more than three hours without deplaning passengers. If there's some sort of of safety or security situation though, all bets are off. You're stuck on the plane. For international flights operated by US carriers, the airline must tell you its own time limits for deplaning.
- Snacks if you're stuck: Carriers are required to provide adequate food and drinking water for passengers within two hours of the aircraft being delayed on the tarmac and to allow you to use the lavatories and, if necessary, provide medical attention.
- Late fees for late planes: The US DOT may now penalize airlines for any domestic flight that's more than 30 minutes late on at least half its trips each month for four months in a row.
- Delay data online: Airlines are now required to put info about delayed domestic flights on their websites. (The airline industry is asking for an extension on this because of some technology problems.)
- No more complaint black holes: If you file a complaint with the airline, it has to at least acknowledge you within 30 days and resolve the issue within 60 days.Reading you your rights: The airline has to make its customer service plan clear to you.
- Want to know all your travel rights? click here.
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