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U.S. Passengers Could See Refunds If Their Bags Are Delayed

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It’s safe to say that ever since the pandemic started, it has changed the way we travel in more ways than we could have previously imagined. From the mask requirements at both airports and on airplanes to some airlines no longer offering alcohol on board, the entire travel experience has changed dramatically since 2019, and not everyone is happy about it.

US Plans To Make Airlines Refund Passengers For Delayed Baggage

However, another big change is on the horizon – and it’s not pandemic related. The US is set to propose new rules that would see airlines refund passengers if their baggage is delayed, alongside other conditions for potential refunds. Here’s everything you need to know about this story.

baggage carousel

Delayed Baggage Refund – Information For Travelers

Traveling can be a stressful experience at the best of times, and it’s seldom as easy as flying, picking up your bags and heading to your hotel. However, there are few worse ways to start your vacation than to land, only to discover that your baggage didn’t make the trip with you. Whether you stick it out with the clothes on your back, or head out to buy a few items of clothing to tide you over, none of the solutions to the problem are ideal.

suitcase ticket passport

There are currently some laws in place in the US that address similar issues. According to existing U.S. Transportation Department rules, travelers are entitled to a refund on their checked baggage fees only if their bags are lost, along with compensation for reasonable expenses incurred by the traveler. However, there are no rules in place as of yet that would see passengers refunded in the event that their bags are delayed – but there may be some soon.

man collecting luggage

The US is set to propose new rules that would see passengers refunded in the event that their checked baggage is “significantly delayed”. The news was confirmed by the White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, who said that it was “part of a broader effort that the president will release shortly around driving greater competition in the economy in service of lower prices.”

luggage suitcase conveyor belt

According to the proposed rule, the definition of a “significantly delayed” checked bag varies depending on whether the flight is domestic or international. As far as domestic flights are concerned, significantly delayed means a checked bag that is not delivered to the passenger within 12 hours, whilst for international flights the timeframe is extended to 25 hours.

The news comes at a time when the relationship between airlines and passengers has hit a patch of turbulence. A rise in passenger disturbances on flights has led to airlines taking drastic action, such as no longer serving alcohol and pursuing large fines for offenders. At the same time, more than 100,000 travelers complained to the government about airline service last year, with refunds the main issue brought up by passengers.

woman check in mask luggage empty

The Biden administration is also set to push for more legislation regarding airline refunds. There are further proposals in the pipeline that would see customers eligible for refunds in the event of onboard services, such as WiFi, not working on a flight. Should these proposals become laws, they may lead to a reduction in the number of complaints made, and could also inspire confidence in travels to fly once more.

Traveler grabs her luggage wearing a mask in the international terminal of the airport


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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Monday 5th of July 2021

We need laws like Europe on mandatory compensation for flight delays. This is a step in the right direction though!


Monday 5th of July 2021

a move in the rigth direction, but 25 hours for international travel is not enough, when you need your luggage the most.