The US Department of Transportation will suggest that Airlines may have to pay for checked baggage if passengers do not receive it quickly enough.
The proposal, if formally drafted after a lengthy process of drafting the regulations, would also require prompt reimbursement of charges for additional expenses such as internet access in the event that the airline does not provide service during the flight.
A ministry official said the proposal would be issued in the next few days and could enter into force next summer.
The proposal will require a refund if airlines fail to deliver baggage within 12 hours after a domestic flight has landed or within a maximum of 25 hours after an international flight.
Current regulations require refunds only if baggage is lost, although airlines must reimburse passengers for “reasonable” incidental expenses incurred by passengers while their bags are delayed. The government does not know how often airlines hold fare money even if baggage is significantly delayed.
The baggage fee proposal is the first of several airline and consumer regulations issued by the administration of President Joe Biden, according to a senior Transportation Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a proposal that has not yet been released. publicly announced.
Last year, more than 100,000 consumers submitted complaints to the government about airline service. Refunds were the largest, although most of the airlines mentioned refused to refund passengers who canceled their flights due to the pandemic. The Department of Transportation said it wanted a $25.5 million fine against Air Canada, but it has taken no action against other airlines over refunds for canceled flights.
In 2019, the last year before the pandemic, passengers paid US airlines $5.76 billion for checked baggage, according to the department. That dropped to 2.84 billion last year, when travel fell due to the pandemic.