New Changes in Favor of the Consumer?
Find out what 3 changes are coming your way next time you fly…
If you have been following the news this past week, then you may have heard that congress has passed some air travel legislation that will help the consumer, but may upset the airlines and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
The lengthy lines to get through security at the airport have been felt across the nation, and by those in the House and Senate too. The new bill wants to offer several ways to expedite the screening process including keeping the PreCheck screening lines open and available during peak and high-volume travel times, especially at the airports who see a huge volume of travelers. When the PreCheck lines are closed, there must be a way to expedited the screening process using “every practicable effort.” What is the definition of “every practicable effort?” Only time will tell. The bill is also requiring that TSA increase the number of people enrolled in the TSA PreCheck program by making it more available for people to enroll. This could be done through Kiosks, mobile devices, and/or other mobile platforms.
Have you ever had your luggage lost or delayed by the airline and didn’t receive your luggage fee back? Well, that will now be a fight with the airline that you will no longer have to undergo. If the airline does not deliver your luggage to you within 12 hours after arrival of your domestic flight or 15 hours after your international flight, the airline will be forced to quickly and automatically refund you “any ancillary fees” you paid for your checked luggage.
For those who have family members under the age of 13, this next portion of the bill that has passed is a huge win. Children under the age of 13 are “to be seated in a seat adjacent to the seat of an accompanying family member over the age of 13” at NO Additional Ancillary Fees! These ancillary fees are usually in the form of a seat selection reservation fees including, choosing a window or aisle seat.
Here is a website that shows some of the fees for seat reservations for each airline: http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/blog/4564745/chart-what-it-costs-to-select-your-seat-location.html. The caveat is that this only applies to economy or coach class seats. If a family would like to upgrade to economy plus, business, or first class additional fees would be applied. This rule will probably upset the airlines the most as this will take away from their billions of dollars they earn each year on seat reservation fees. However, it has been a problem with the airlines not accommodating keeping families seated together when they travel. As a parent, it is a very scary thought that my child would be sitting next to a stranger while I am on the same flight.
Over the next couple of months, I hope that we see these changes and they make our lives simpler for when we travel by air.
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