By Jennifer Waters, MarketWatch
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — Chalk one up for consumers in the ongoing push-and-pull with the airline industry: The Dept. of Transportation is warning airlines that they will be punished if they don’t compensate passengers whose bags were lost or delayed.
DOT rules regulate that airlines cover — up to $3,300 — expenses consumers are forced to make should they find themselves without their bags. The amount is meant to help pay for replacement clothing, shoes and accessories, but it also includes costs for everyday needs like toothbrushes, shampoo and skin-care cleansers.
But many carriers have in recent months reimbursed passengers only for necessities that were purchased more than 24 hours after arrival on the premise that the bag could be located and delivered within that time. What’s more, carriers are limiting the payback only on the outbound leg of the trip.
That would mean a passenger whose bag was lost on a flight from Chicago to New York would have to wait a full day from landing before purchasing mouthwash and a suit for the “big meeting” that next day – if a refund was expected.
“Travelers should not have to pay for toiletries or other necessities while they wait for baggage misplaced by airlines,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.Â To see full story.
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