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Air Consumer

Bumping & Oversales


The vast majority of the time, passengers don’t have any problems boarding their flights.  But occasionally, airlines may “bump” passengers and have them give up their seats.  Bumping, also known as “denied boarding,” happens when there are more passengers scheduled to fly on an airplane than available seats. 

Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Airlines Report 15 Tarmac Delays Over Three Hours on Domestic Flights, Five Tarmac Delays Over Four Hours on International Flights in August


WASHINGTON – Airlines reported 15 tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights and five tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights in August, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report released today.  All reported extended tarmac delays are being investigated by the Department.  Previous investigations of tarmac delays have resulted in enforcement action by the Department.

Updated: Friday, October 14, 2016

April 2016 Complaints Down and On-Time Performance Up From Previous Year, March 2016


WASHINGTON – In April, the U.S. Department of Transportation received 1,122 complaints about airline service from consumers, down 20.9 percent from the total of 1,419 filed in April 2015 and down 21.5 percent from the 1,429 received in March 2016, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report released today.

The reporting carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 84.5 percent in April 2016, up from both the 81.8 percent on-time rate in April 2015 and the 81.5 percent mark in March 2016.

Updated: Monday, June 13, 2016

Final Rule: Use of Electronic Cigarettes on Aircraft

The Department of Transportation is issuing a final rule to extend the smoking ban in 14 CFR Part 252 to include all charter (i.e., nonscheduled) flights where a flight attendant is a required crewmember. The revised Part 252 would comport with 49 U.S.C. § 41706, which was revised in 2012, to ban smoking on charter flights where a flight attendant is a required crewmember. This final rule also explicitly bans the use of electronic cigarettes (“e-cigarettes”) on all flights where smoking is banned. The Department interprets the existing Part 252 to prohibit e-cigarette use, but is codifying this interpretation.

News Digest (DOT 101-13)

Consumers Cautioned on Air Tours to College Bowl Games. The U.S. Department of Transportation today reminded air travelers going to this season’s college football bowl games that a company marketing an air tour package that includes game tickets must have the tickets in hand or have a written contract for the tickets before advertising the tour. If a travel agent or other tour representative states that a game ticket is included, the consumer should require at the time of purchase that the game ticket be presented or a written confirmation for the ticket be provided.

Updated: Friday, December 6, 2013

Qantas Fined for Failing to Disclose Baggage Fees

DOT 112-12

Qantas Fined for Failing to Disclose Baggage Fees

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today assessed a civil penalty of $100,000 against Qantas, an Australian air carrier, for violating the Department’s new rule requiring carriers and ticket agents to inform consumers that they may have to pay baggage fees, and directed Qantas to cease and desist from further violations.

Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012

Disclosure of charges for checked baggage

This notice is intended to give guidance to air carriers and foreign air carriers on disclosure of carrier baggage policies and associated fees in connection with checked baggage. The general industry practice until recently has been to allow passengers two free checked bags, generally of up to 50 or 70 pounds each. Several air carriers have recently adopted policies of charging passengers an amount, in addition to the fare already paid, for any checked baggage or for more than one checked bag. Some of these policies imposing charges for checking a second bag add $25 to the cost of a passenger’s trip while others may add far greater amounts for checking a single bag, either because it is overweight or because the carrier has different fares based on whether a passenger checks bags and the number he or she checks. A number of others have announced plans to implement similar policies.

Baggage liability on international codeshare trips

This notice is intended to give guidance to U.S. and foreign air carriers on two tariff matters: first, tariffs relating to liability for lost, stolen, delayed or damaged baggage carried on international itineraries; and second, tariffs that appear to assign responsibility, in code-share service, to the operating carrier rather than the selling carrier (i.e., the carrier shown on the ticket).

Response to petition to delay the effective date of 14 CFR 399.85(c) and 399.87

By this order, we are denying the petition of the Air Transport Association (now Airlines for America), the International Air Transport Association, the Regional Airline Association, the Air Carrier Association of America, and the Association of European Airlines (AEA) (collectively Associations) to delay the effectiveness of 14 CFR 399.85(c) and 399.87 for the reasons discussed below but also announcing that the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings has decided, for a short period of time, to apply its enforcement discretion in monitoring compliance with these provisions.

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