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  • Writer's pictureRobin Li | Aificial Business

BWI travelers react to new rules that require airlines to give cash refunds for canceled, severely delayed flights


BALTIMORE - There's some good news for travelers. 

Airlines must give automatic cash refunds to all canceled and significantly delayed flights, according to new Department of Transportation rules

For travelers at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, this is welcoming news, especially since flights being canceled or delayed is pretty common.

Some travelers told WJZ it also makes them feel more comfortable when booking flights because they know if anything happens, they can get their money back. 

"I'm visiting my family I haven't seen in 12 years," said Beverly Banta.

She knows how difficult it is to battle airlines for refunds when it comes to canceled flights.

Photo via Getty Images

"All these charges, they want to tack on, but yet they don't give you any refund if they lose your luggage or if your flight gets canceled," Banta said.

Now, the Department of Transportation is rolling out new rules that will require airlines to automatically give refunds to passengers for cancellations.

If you're delayed for more than three hours for a domestic flight, or more than six hours for an international flight, you can get a refund if you choose not to fly.

"We have heard it all and too often the things that we hear about aren't just irritating inconveniences," U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. "They are significant harms, and more importantly, violations of passengers' rights." 

Photo via Getty Images

DOT will also require airlines to give refunds if your bags are lost and not delivered within 12 hours.

They must also refund travelers if services paid for, such as broken wifi, aren't provided.

"I think it's just better insurance for an everyday person," traveler Tanner Adams said. 

The new rules will be phased in over the next year to save travelers more than $500 million per year that they're currently overpaying in hidden airline fees.

Banta says it is long overdue.

"I love it," Banta said. "It's exciting. I think it's great." 

The refund must be in the form of cash or the original form of payment and airlines cannot substitute travel vouchers or other forms of compensation unless the passenger willingly accepts it.


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