There was a time when traveling on an airplane was regarded as something special by everyone involved. People actually dressed up to fly. And the airlines went out of their way to provide a special experience for everyone aboard.
But at some point, that changed. Comfort and legroom were the first to go, as airlines crammed as many seats as possible on each plane. Meals were abandoned. Flights were deliberately overbooked. Then, they even started charging to carry our luggage!
This is why I was glad to see the U.S. Transportation Department announce new passenger protections this week that should eliminate at least a little of the pain.
We're not returning to the days of meals and baggage being included in the price of your ticket, but at least from now on:
- Airlines will be required to clearly note all fees and taxes in the advertised prices.
- They'll have to increase the amount paid to passengers when they're bumped off overbooked flights.
-They'll be heavily fined for inexcusably long delays on the ground.
- And they'll be required to refund all baggage fees for any luggage they lose.
And yes – you heard that right. Until now, while they had to compensate you for any lost luggage, they could actually keep the fees they'd charged to handle it!
Clearly, this isn't a return to the luxury days of yore. But it is a step in the right direction.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.