New rules will soon be in place if your flight is canceled, significantly delayed, or your luggage is lost.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a final rule that's great news for New Yorkers.

DOT Issues New Rules For Airline Refunds For Canceled, Delayed Flights

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Travels will soon be able to full refunds when airlines cancel or significantly change their flights, significantly delay their checked bags, or fail to provide the extra services they purchased.

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“Passengers deserve to get their money back when an airline owes them - without headaches or haggling,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated. “Our new rule sets a new standard to require airlines to promptly provide cash refunds to their passengers.”

Canceled Or Significantly Changed Flights

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Under these new rules, all passengers will be entitled to a full refund if their flight is canceled or "significantly changed."

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A full refund will only be accepted if the traveler doesn't want the alternative transportation or travel credits offered by the airline.

"Significant Change" Now Defined

These new rules officially define what a “significant change" to a flight is. A significant change to a flight includes:

  • Departure or arrival times that are more than 3 hours domestically and 6 hours internationally Departures or arrivals from a different airport
  • Increases in the number of connections
  • Instances where passengers are downgraded to a lower class of service; or connections at different airports or flights on different planes that are less accessible or accommodating to a person with a disability.

"Prior to this rule, airlines were permitted to set their own standards for what kind of flight changes warranted a refund. As a result, refund policies differed from airline to airline, which made it difficult for passengers to know or assert their refund rights," the DOT states.

Checked Baggage Refunds

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The new rule also will get you your money back if your luggage is lost or delayed.

Full refunds of checked bag fees will be required if a passenger's luggage is lost and not returned within 12 hours.

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For International flights, you will get a full refund if your bag isn't returned within 15 to 30 hours of the flight landing, depending on the length of the flight.

Extra Services Not Provided


Passengers will also be entitled to a refund if they pay for extra services like Wi-Fi, seat selection, or inflight entertainment and the airline doesn't provide what you paid for.

The DOT is giving airlines six months to comply with the new rules.

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