Fed site informs air travelers of rights - abc27 WHTM

Fed site informs air travelers of rights

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We all have our own pet peeves when it comes to air travel.

"If it's flying out, it's lost baggage," said Tom Boucek of New Cumberland as he retrieved his luggage at Harrisburg International Airport. "If it's coming home, it's delayed flights."

"If a flight gets canceled and you get stuck somewhere and can't make it home," Tim Fitzpatrick said.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has updated its online consumer travel guide at www.dot.gov, where travelers can learn about their rights when a flight does not go as planned.

For instance, consumers can ask airlines about the on-time performance of a particular flight before they book a ticket. Federal law requires the airlines provide the information.

But contrary to popular belief, airlines are not required to compensate passengers when flights are delayed or canceled.

The online travel guide also covers delays while travelers are still on the plane. The guide states that "rules prohibit most U.S. airlines from allowing a domestic flight to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours."

When it comes to lost or delayed baggage, the guide instructs travelers to speak up quickly. If your bags don't come off the conveyer belt, report it to the airline before you leave the airport. The guide advises travelers to insist the airline create a report and give them a copy, and to get a phone number other than the airline's reservation number.

Several people who travel every week said the airlines do a pretty good job overall.

"So far, so good, absolutely," said frequent flyer James Waltz of York County. "They really have a positive attitude and good customer service, which is extremely important."

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