Protections for airline passengers

  • 12 December 2018
  • NormanL

It may have happened to you: you're flying home for Christmas and your flight gets cancelled, or overbooked, or your bags don't arrive at your destination. What do you do now?

The federal government has created a number of protections for air travellers that all airlines must observe. The Department of Transportation has a website devoted to consumer protection, including:

flight delays and cancellations 

lost or damaged baggage


how to file a consumer complaint

And much more. According to the Government Accountability Office, airlines have gotten better at handling bags and have denied fewer boardings. But traveller complaints increased 10 percent between 2008 and 2017. The Transportation Department does investigate those complaints, and works with airlines to correct problems. The Department, like the airlines, can always improve its operations (and the GAO recommened several areas when the DoT should do so).

But just in case you or someone you know is travelling for Christmas, or any time of year, check out the DoT consumer protection website and get informed about your rights.