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Blumenthal says CT travelers to benefit from new federal rules on airline refunds

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Molly Ingram
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.

The federal government has announced that airlines will have to disclose junk fees and promptly refund passengers for canceled or delayed flights.

The move will benefit Connecticut travelers, said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the author of the Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights legislation that’s pending in the U.S. Senate.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s new rules will hold airlines accountable and enhance consumer protection for travelers.

“So, I’m hoping for better treatment of passengers and flights beginning right away this spring," Blumenthal said. "When airlines realize that there are new rules that provide remedies and penalties. That’s a very powerful incentive to do better."

"The rules are the first step," Blumenthal added. "We need even higher penalties, and more refunds provided more promptly. And so I think the rules can be strengthened even further.”

The new federal rules go after steep fees charged for checked bags by requiring airlines to show the full travel price before passengers pay for their tickets. They also require prompt cash refunds when flights are delayed or canceled.

Airlines say the changes would drive up fares and reduce flights.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.