Sun, Oct 11, 2009
Airlines may not arbitrarily limit compensation for passengers
who purchase necessities because their baggage is lost or delayed,
the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) said in a notice issued
In its notice, the Department's Aviation Enforcement Office said
that a number of carriers have policies stating that they will
reimburse passengers only for buying necessities purchased more
than 24 hours after arrival and limiting such reimbursements to the
outbound legs of trips. This is in violation of DOT
regulations which require that airlines cover all expenses caused
by lost or delayed baggage up to $3,300 per passenger on domestic
flights, DOT said.
"Travelers should not have to pay for toiletries or other
necessities while they wait for baggage misplaced by airlines,"
said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We expect
airlines to comply with all of our regulations and will take
enforcement action if they do not."
The Department said airlines should review their passenger
handouts and contracts of carriage to make sure they comply with
DOT rules. The Aviation Enforcement Office will monitor
carriers' compliance and take enforcement action if necessary after
90 days from the issuance of this notice.
Last month the Department fined an airline for providing
compensation for delayed baggage only for the outbound leg of
round-trip flights and only for purchases made more than 24 hours
after arrival, among other violations.
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