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US DOT adopts new airline passenger protections

New regulations that apply to airlines bumping passengers and mishandling baggage announced

US DOT adopts new airline passenger protections

In the waning days of the current Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation has issued a final rule today that clarifies and strengthens existing regulations that apply to airlines bumping passengers and mishandling baggage.

The new US DOT rule will take effect in April, four years after the infamous “Dr. Dao Incident,” in which a paying passenger was dragged off a United Express flight.

Among the highlights of the new rule:

• prohibiting the involuntary bumping of passengers who have already boarded an airplane.

• raising compensation for bumped passengers from $675 to $775 for delays of up to two hours, and from $1,350 to $1,550 for delays of more than two hours.

• clarifying requirements to notify passengers about oversold flights.

• removing any maximum limits on compensation for denied boarding, voluntary or involuntary.

• applying these rules to foreign airlines operating within the United States.

• raising compensation for mishandled baggage from $3,500 to $3,800

The new rule will take effect 90 days after publication in the Federal Register.


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