Have you ever traveled somewhere and arrived without your luggage? How long did you have to wait before being reunited with your bags? And, what was it like to deal with the airline?
Just thinking about it might bring back bad memories. But, being compensated for your delayed luggage, grief, and aggravation could happen sooner rather than later. The U.S. Department of Transportation already has specific rules stating airlines must refund passengers if their luggage is lost or damaged. If the customers paid a checked baggage fee and their luggage is lost, they not only qualify for a refund of the baggage fee, but they can also file a claim to be reimbursed for the value of the bag, and its contents up to $3,300. Last year alone, nearly three billion dollars came from checked baggage fees. But, there is no law requiring airlines to refund fees if your bags arrive late.
Now, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives are debating two bills. According to the New York Times, the Senate bill would make airlines automatically refund travelers within six hours if their bags failed to arrive on time or within 12 hours for international flights. The House bill differs in that airlines would have 24 hours to get flyers their bags and refunds wouldn’t automatically be issued for late luggage.
Until a decision is made on the proposed legislation, in addition to filing a complaint with the airline, you can also go online and with the Department of Transportation.