The second part of the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations have gone into effect and we’re wondering if this will make at least the air travel portion of the travel experience any more tolerable?
After six months to allow the online travel agencies (those companies like Expedia, Orbitz, Kayak, Travelocity and others) to upgrade their computer systems, they are not required to disclose ALL FEES and TAXES upfront when advertising an airfare. This includes baggage fee disclosures to inform passengers right away what extra fees they may expect to pay for checking their luggage.
Another rule allows travelers to change their minds: everyone gets a 24-hour period to do the following:
- put an airfare on hold before clicking the buy button
- cancel a ticket for a full refund without a penalty
- avoid a price increase by airlines, tour operators, and cruise lines (excepting fully disclosed tax increases)
This means, travelers will be able to lock in an airfare and be assured that it won’t increase while they are checking their schedule, checking with family, etc. Travelers can also cancel a ticket when they’ve made a mistake.
A final rule ensures that travelers are informed of flight delays and cancellations because the airlines have to make that announcement within 30 minutes of pulling or delaying a flight.
Let’s hope all of these changes mean the skies get a little friendlier again.