The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced a new round of consumer protection-related rulemaking initiatives affecting U.S. and foreign airlines, ticket agents, and air travel consumers. As part of these initiatives, DOT has issued:

  • a third final rule (PP3) further strengthening airline passenger protection regulations;
  • a final rule amending requirements for airline reporting of mishandled-baggage data and establishing new requirements for airlines to report statistics for mishandled wheelchairs and scooters used by disabled passengers and transported in aircraft cargo compartments;
  • an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) requesting comments on how airlines should refund checked baggage fees when they fail to deliver passengers’ baggage in a timely manner, as required by the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016; and
  • a request for information regarding airline restrictions on the distribution and display of flight schedules and fare information.

DOT also announced that it plans to issue a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) on the disclosure of ancillary services fees to consumers at all points/channels of sale, including global distribution systems (GDSs). DOT will also issue at a later date a final rule on the definition of “ticket agent,” customer service commitments by large ticket agents, and the prohibition of post-purchase price increases for ancillary services and those relating to “mistaken fares.”

Learn more about these developments here.