US set to make airlines refund fees for delayed bags

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Travelers walk through the Salt Lake City International Airport, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(NEXSTAR/AP) —The Biden administration plans to require airlines to refund checked baggage fees if the bags get seriously delayed.

The proposal would also require refunds for fees on extras such as internet access if the airline fails to provide the service during the flight.

An administration official said the U. S. Department of Transportation will issue the proposal in the next several days, and it could take effect by next summer.

Airlines made nearly $5.8 billion from checked-bag fees in 2019, the last year before the pandemic crushed air travel.

Currently, according to the Transportation Department, passengers are entitled to a refund if they paid a baggage fee and the airline loses their baggage, though airlines may have varying polices on what constitutes “officially” lost bags.

Most airlines will declare a bag lost five to 14 days after the flight, but if an airline “unreasonably refuses” to do so after the bag has been missing for “an unreasonable period of time,” the Transportation Department could step in with enforcement action against the airline.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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