Travelers could soon have more rights if their flight is canceled or delayed, as the Department of Transportation looks to "strengthen" protections for consumers seeking refunds.
The agency proposed a rule Wednesday that, if enacted, would define the terms of a "significant" change and cancellation for the first time.
Under the rule, the department would outline significant changes as:.
Changes that affect the departure and/or arrival times by three hours or more for a domestic flight or six hours or more for an international flight.
The move comes amid increased complaints against airlines -- the majority of which concern refunds and flight service, according to data from the agency.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. airlines have issued $21 billion in cash refunds, according to Airlines for America (A4A), the group that lobbies on behalf of all major U.S. airlines.
Cash refunds accounted for 8% of passenger revenues in 2021 and 22.3% of passenger revenues in 2020, versus 4.3% in 2019, A4A said. »