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Airlines will have to refund the damaged Wi-Fi under the proposed rule

Airlines will have to refund the damaged Wi-Fi under the proposed rule

New rules proposed by the Biden administration would require airlines to refund passengers for services they didn't actually provide, such as broken Wi-Fi. Also, airlines and travel search websites must disclose any additional charges for changing or canceling your flight and for checked or carry-on baggage.

The new rules are part of changes the US Department of Transportation is proposing to make flying more transparent and consumer-friendly after a particularly rocky summer travel season in which flight cancellations took place. The administration has previously sought stricter rules for passenger refunds, arguing that it wants to make air travel more competitive.

Airlines have in recent years charged passengers for perks included in the ticket price, including checking bags and choosing a seat with extra legroom.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement that airline passengers have the right to know the full, true value of their flights before purchasing tickets. "This newly proposed rule will require airlines to be transparent with customers about the fees they charge, helping passengers make informed decisions and save money."

Under the proposed rule, US and foreign airlines as well as third-party online ticket sellers and aggregators are required to "explicitly disclose passenger-specific or itinerary-specific baggage fees, change fees, cancellation fees and family seating fees." Is necessary." Provides consumers with fare and schedule information for flights to, from and within the United States whenever they are, says USDOT.

Under the existing rules, passengers are entitled to refund in case of loss of bag, but not for delay. In addition, customers usually do not get refunds for unreliable Wi-Fi on planes. Airlines and other third-party companies are usually too slow to offer refunds when they are guaranteed, according to USDOT's Office of Aviation Consumer Protection, which recently concluded an investigation by 10 airlines. The office is now taking enforcement action against them for "extreme delays by airlines in providing refunds for canceled or significantly changed flights," the department said.

Recent studies have shown that airplane Wi-Fi is slow and usually prohibitively expensive. But relying on the latest technology in the aircraft itself, as well as a network of satellites and ground links, is not easy. Some experts say the technology will improve over time, but in the near future, these proposed rules will require airlines to return customers when Wi-Fi service is worse than normal.

The rules are open for public comment for the next 60 days, but could take several months to take effect.

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