DOT: All Airlines Must Give Cash Refunds For Flight Cancellations


The Department of Transportation (DOT) announced new rules that will require airlines to automatically give cash refunds to passengers for canceled and significantly delayed flights. DOT will also require airlines to give cash refunds if they lose your bags and they do not find them within 12 hours. The refunds must be in cash unless the passenger chooses another form of compensation.

According to the announcement, airlines have 6 months to comply with the new rule. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg spoke about the new rule on Tuesday. He says “Passengers deserve to get their money back when an airline owes them – without headaches or haggling.”

The DOT is also working on rules related to family seating fees, enhancing rights for wheelchair-traveling passengers for safe travel, and mandating compensation and amenities for delays and cancellations by airlines. Buttigieg added that the DOT is also working with airlines to manage issues such as “deconflicting airspace and coordinating closures for commercial space launches,” and addressing congestion in New York’s airspace.

Department Of Transportation: Refunds Aims To Help Airlines, Not Harm

Department of Transportation

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In a press conference, Secretary Buttigieg today explained that the new rule isn’t meant to harm airlines but improve them. “To be clear, we want the airline sector to thrive. It is why we put so much into helping them survive the pandemic.”

The secretary adds, “We know there’s more to do and we’re not done. We are working on a rulemaking to expand rights to protect the safety and dignity of passengers who use wheelchairs and another one to ban airlines from charging you a junk fee to sit together as a family.”

The new rule also applies to delayed flights by 3+ hours domestic/6 hours internationally.