The Ministry of Transport proposed to amend the rules for the sale of air tickets. If they are accepted, airlines will have to refund the cost of tickets to customers if a domestic flight is delayed by more than three hours.
The Ministry of Transport said the proposed changes would force airlines to refund travelers if the carrier cancels a flight or makes significant changes to it. The new document will formally define the terms “major change”; and "cancel".
So, "significant changes" relate to domestic flights delayed by three hours or more, and international flights delayed by six hours or more, as well as changing the airport of departure or arrival, increasing the number of connections, changing the type of aircraft “in cases where this will lead to a significant deterioration in the quality flight or amenities available on board.
The new amendment will also require airlines to provide perpetual vouchers if passengers are unable to fly for pandemic-related reasons, including “government-imposed travel bans, closed borders, or when passengers are advised not to travel for reasons of their own health or the health of other passengers.”
Recall that the US Department of Transportation has ordered airlines to refund passengers in 2020 if their flights were canceled, or schedules changed, or the government imposed restrictions due to the pandemic.
Many airlines have extended vouchers, but only one, Southwest, has made them permanent. Several airlines have also waived fees for changing departure dates, and some carriers have gone a step further by allowing customers to make changes to even basic economy fares, albeit for a fee.
A meeting on the proposed rule changes will take place on August 22, and the public will be able to submit comments within 90 days of their publication in the Federal Register.