It's the time of the year for messes at the airports.

You're going on vacation. Your flight has been way delayed, your luggage is lost, or you're stranded at a layover airport. We hear horror stories from flying all of the time. My own experiences are why I'm driving everywhere this summer.

But a new policy goes into effect next week that aims to help, at least as much as it can.


According to NBC Chicago, starting on June 25th, the Department of Transportation will require airlines to give customers full cash refunds for issues like major baggage delays and canceled flights. This includes a "significant change" in a flight.

Basically, a "significant change" is a departure or arrival time that has shifted 3 hours domestically or 6 hours internationally. It's also a change of airport that increases the number of connections to make. It also includes when a passenger is downgraded to a different class or put on a plane that is less accommodating to someone with a disability.

You may get money back for delayed luggage too. DOT says that if your bag isn't delivered within 12 hours (for a domestic flight, 15-30 hours for an international flight) of the plane getting to the gate, you'll be eligible for a refund of your checked bag fee.

With the new policy, airlines have to either refund a customer via cash or their original form of payment.

The DOT is cracking down on airlines' hidden fees too. They're going to require the airlines to disclose all fees upfront instead of just at checkout.

The airlines are on a time clock to provide these refunds to customers. They have 6 months to a year to get them the money.

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