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FILE - In this July 8, 2015, file photo, United Airlines and United Express planes prepare to take off at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. United Continental reports financial results Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, FIle)

New airline rules mandate a refund of checked-bag fees if your luggage is delayed


UPDATE | 11:42 A.M.

"I believe that when American families and workers fly, they deserve to know exactly what they're buying, without hidden fees or last-minute charges," President Obama wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

Airlines must refund bag fees if your luggage is delayed, White House officials announced Tuesday as part of an effort to help improve air travel.

President Barack Obama's administration debuted plans to provide consumers with more flight information and require refunds on baggage fees if luggage is "substantially delayed."

Transportation officials said they haven't yet defined what constitutes a substantial delay.

The initiative is reportedly in response to consumer complaints about airline travel.

Other changes include:

  • Passengers will receive better information when they purchase airline tickets
  • Passengers will also receive information on how to provide feedback on air carrier performance
  • Airlines will have to report flight delays by all planes that fly under their banner
  • Airlines will have to report how many wheelchairs they mishandle
  • Airlines will not be able to prohibit online ticketing services from favoring one airline over another in response to consumer searches for flights

Congress passed an aviation bill over the summer that directed the department to refund baggage fees to passengers whose bags have been delayed 12 or more hours for domestic flights or 15 or more hours for overseas flights.
"Airline passengers deserve to have access to clear and complete information about the airlines they choose to fly and to expect fair and reasonable treatment when they fly," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx added. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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