Colorado AG Weiser applauds US DOT’s airline refunds rules

Weiser applauds US Department of Transportation’s proposed airline refunds rules, urges further clarification

DENVER, CO (STL.News) Attorney General Phil Weiser applauded the U.S. Department of Transportation’s airline refund proposal while urging the department to add clarity to the rules.

In a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the attorney general supports the rule’s efforts to simplify the proposed refund structure and process.  He also recommends the USDOT specify the circumstances in which an airline must refund consumers and require an accessible process for consumers to pursue refunds.

“As Colorado attorney general, I am committed to?the effective?enforcement of protections for airline industry customers,” said Weiser.  “We are pleased with the thoughtfulness of this proposed rulemaking, which demonstrates the USDOT’s commitment to protecting airline consumers.  Clarifying the proposed rules further will ensure consumers can easily seek a refund when not provided a service they paid for.”

The proposed rulemaking requires refunds for delayed checked bags and other services that are not provided.  The attorney general’s letter encourages the USDOT to, among other things, specify circumstances in which carriers are not required to issue a refund for lengthy delays?in baggage delivery, rather than crafting a general exception for checked baggage delays that were a result of a passenger’s “negligence.”

The letter also recommends simplifying the process for filing a refund request.

The attorney general previously asked the USDOT to investigate Frontier Airlines after consumers in Colorado reported that the airline engaged in unfair or deceptive practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In that letter, the attorney general highlighted the significant issues consumers faced related to refunds.  To combat similar issues in the future, consumers deserve a clear, simplified system that is more accessible.

A better system protects consumers by enabling them to understand their own rights and advocate for themselves when regulations are defied or disregarded, Weiser said.