Traveling for the holidays? DOT wants you to know your rights when you fly

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 4:45 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - During our busy travel season, you’ll want to plan for the worst, like long lines or a delayed flight.

If your flight gets canceled for any reason, you are entitled to a refund if you choose not to travel.

The Department of Transportation has recently cracked down on airlines that refuse to give customers refunds for canceled flights.

The department has issued more than $7 million in fines against six airlines for extreme delays in providing refunds to passengers.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg adds the department will take action if airlines don’t comply with DOT rules.

“We will have your back, especially in a situation where an airline doesn’t do what it’s required to do, giving you a refund for example if you do get a flight cancelation or living up to their customer service commitments to rebook you so you can be on your way,” said Buttigieg.

What if you’re at baggage claim and your luggage doesn’t show up?

DOT says travelers are entitled to a refund if they paid a baggage fee and their baggage has been declared lost by the airline.

The gray area is airlines may have different policies to determine when a bag is officially lost.

RELATED: AAA releases travel tips ahead of Thanksgiving

DOT says most airlines will declare a bag lost between five and fourteen days after the flight. This can vary from one airline to another.

If an airline unreasonably refuses to consider a bag lost after it has been missing for an unreasonable period of time, the airline could be subject to enforcement action by the DOT.

Airport officials recommend you arrive at the airport two hours before your flight if it’s a domestic flight. Three hours for an international flight.