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Air Travelers Get Some R-E-S-P-E-C-T

If you’ve been caught off guard when you checked in for your flight only to find the airline charges a $25 baggage fee, you weren’t alone.

That airfare to New York for $199 you found on the Internet sounds too good to be true. And indeed it was, once you discovered that was one-way fare exclusive of taxes and fees. When you got the flights you wanted and were ready to click on the purchase button the trip cost was closer to $500. Misleading advertising?

What about those nightmarish stories of being stuck on the tarmac for hours on end, when the galley ran out of food and beverages and the lavatories overflowed? You paid hundreds of dollars for that experience. Eww.

Or did the airline lose your luggage? After you paid an additional fee? Really?

Remember when they were known as the friendly skies? Not lately. If the airlines had been more forthcoming with their pricing, and not burying fees, maybe the DOT wouldn’t have to act. Overwhelming complaints from passengers being mistreated have finally forced the government to take action.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the following in a statement to the press:

Airline passengers have rights, and they should be able to expect fair and reasonable treatment when booking a trip and when they fly. The new passenger protections taking effect this week are a continuation of our effort to help air travelers receive the respect they deserve.

Here’s a quick recap of those new DOT guidelines: