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NBTA lauds DOT Denied Boarding Rule

The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) praised on Tuesday last week’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters regarding new rules that increase compensation for passengers involuntary bumped from overbooked flights.

NBTA President & CEO, Kevin Maguire, CCTE, said, “For business travelers, time is money — getting involuntarily bumped can be an expensive proposition. Earlier this year NBTA called for an increase in the compensation due to passengers denied boarding for overbooked flights, and we are pleased that DOT will soon implement such an increase.”

Under the new DOT rule that goes into effect next month, airlines will compensate passengers who are involuntary bumped due to overbooking as follows:

  • Passengers who are involuntarily bumped and arrive Up to 59 minutes late are entitled to zero compensation
  • Passengers who are involuntarily bumped and arrive 1-2 hours late are entitled to the lesser of a) $400 b) 100% of the price of your one-way ticket
  • Passengers who are involuntarily bumped and arrive 2 hours or more late are entitled to the lesser of a) $800 b) 200% of the price of your one-way ticket

The new rule will also expand the compensation rule to cover flights operated with aircraft seating 30 people or more; the current rule covers flights with more than 60 seats. Compensation payments are in addition to the value of the passenger’s ticket, which the flyer can apply toward alternate transportation or have refunded.

DOT also announced the opening of additional airspace for pilots to fly around bad weather on west-bound flights out of New York, an area that accounts for much of the nation’s air travel delays.

Maguire commented, “Secretary Peters is to be congratulated for her leadership in developing new ways to ease air travel congestion and delays. While these efforts will certainly improve some of the challenges faced by today’s airline passengers, there is much more work to be done. The U.S. now needs to focus on implementing a Next Generation air transportation system for the twenty-first century that will open more currently unused airspace, improve our ability to fly in bad weather and enable planes to move in and out of airports faster.”

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