WINDSOR LOCKS, CT (WFSB) -- On Monday, Senator Richard Blumenthal will be highlighting airline passenger protections just in time for the holidays.
Senator Blumenthal spoke at Noon at the Sheraton Hartford Hotel at Bradley International Airport.
In 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration re-authorization bill created many passenger protections, but many fliers still don't know their rights.
“Many fliers are unaware of them because they are buried in the dense small print of the department of transportation website. In essence the department of transportation has not been a friend for the American traveler," Blumenthal said.
Some of the new airline passenger protections include a ban on e-cigarettes on flights, restrictions on airlines to bump passengers once they have cleared the gate, and setting a minimum seat size and legroom.
Other key passenger protections include:
- If an airline oversells its flight, involuntarily bumps you, and delays your arrival at your destination by more than two hours, the airline owes you up to $1,350 cash; if the airline delays your arrival between one and two hours, the airline owes you up to $675 cash;
- If an airline loses, damages or delays your checked bag on a domestic flight, the airline may owe you up to $3,500; on an international flight, the airline may owe you up to $1,675;
- If an airline loses your checked bag, the airline must also refund your bag fee;
- If you make a mistake booking (e.g., you pick the wrong date to fly) or change your mind, the airline must give you 24 hours to re-book without penalty or refund your fare, as long as it's more than a week before departure; and
- An airline can keep you on the tarmac for no more than three hours for domestic flights and four hours for international flights and must provide food and water within two hours of delay, provide you updates every half hour, and ensure that bathrooms are in working order.
Blumenthal said he's pushing for more transparency from airlines and better service.
“The kinds of delays, bumped flights, is charges and fees and overbooking and general hassles certainly need to end," Blumenthal said.