Gov’t: Airlines Should Give Refunds For Lost Bags

Those pesky airline fees can really add up the cost of flying. The government wants to help passengers out, but airlines are fighting back.

Double standard?

Anyone who flies knows how frustrating it is when an airline loses their bag. You’ve paid dearly to check that bag, and you don’t even get your money back. The airlines charge as much as $35 to check a bag, and it’s even more… as much as $45… to check a second one. As it is now, if they don’t deliver it on time, even for days, most airlines don’t give that money back.

DOT wants airlines to give refunds

The Associated Press is reporting that the Department of Transportation  wants to change that, forcing airlines to give refunds for lost or delayed bags. The AP says the DOT will release details of the rule later this month but has yet to say when it would go into effect.

But airlines, which collect billions in bag fees each year, are against it. The Air Transport Association, which represents most of the major airlines, says automatic refunds will increase costs and lead to higher prices for all passengers.

Fly Southwest and JetBlue to avoid fees

Don’t want to pay baggage fees, which for a family could add hundreds of dollars to the cost of flying? There are only two major airlines… Southwest and JetBlue… that don’t charge passengers for checking their bags. Trust me, it makes a big difference. Here’s what I wrote in an earlier blog:

I like Southwest, and try to fly it as much as possible because it doesn’t charge me baggage fees that other airlines gouge customers with. For a family of five, bag fees could cost an extra $600 round-trip (2 bags each, with $25 for the 1st, $35 the 2nd).

Of course, you can completely avoid baggage fees altogether by not checking your bags. Just get on that plane before the overhead bins fill up with carry-ons.

Go here for a complete list of what airlines charge for checked bags.

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