Washington DC: The Transportation Department is proposing to require airlines to offer passengers a refund if their flight schedule is changed significantly or the airline makes significant changes to their itinerary.
The proposed rule announced Wednesday would require airlines to give refunds if their departure or arrival time changes by three hours or more for a domestic flight or at least six hours for an international one.
Refunds would also be due if the airline changes the passenger’s departure or arrival airport, adds stops in their itinerary, or causes “a significant downgrade” in the travel experience by switching to a different type of plane.
The rule would apply even to travelers who buy nonrefundable tickets, which usually cost less and are favored by many leisure travelers. The proposal comes after the department was flooded with complaints by passengers whose flights were canceled or changed — or who were afraid to fly during the early months of the pandemic — and who couldn’t get refunds.