Your Guide to the Department of Transportation's Airline Refund Policies

Your Guide to the Department of Transportation's Airline Refund Policies

Travel Guide 2024-05-21

Here's all the key information you need to know.

Flight canceled? Cash back required! Know your new passenger rights

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The Department of Transportation (DOT) has introduced a new rule that specifies the circumstances under which airlines must offer refunds to travelers, as well as the way they should do so. However, similar to many advantageous policies, this one has a few exceptions.

Under the updated guidelines, all US airlines will now be required to refund passengers for significant flight alterations, delayed baggage, and other specific circumstances. It's crucial for travelers to be aware of their rights when seeking reimbursement.

We've analyzed the new regulations and compiled the key information that frequent flyers should review before their next trip. So let's get right to it!

When are airlines required to provide a refund?

Travelers have the right to receive automatic refunds if their flights are canceled, significantly altered, or if the airline fails to offer an additional service they had paid for, such as on-board Wi-Fi, seat selection, or in-flight entertainment. Regarding changes, the refund is only available if the traveler hasn't accepted any alternative transportation or travel credits provided by the airline.

What qualifies as a "significant change" in travel plans?

According to the new guidelines set by the DOT, a "significant change" is defined as:

  • domestic flights with a departure or arrival time that differs from the original schedule by more than 3 hours;
  • international flights with a departure or arrival time that differs from the original schedule by more than 6 hours;
  • changes to the departure or arrival airport;
  • an increase in the number of flight connections;
  • a downgrade to a lower class of service;
  • a connection at a different airport or flights on different planes that are less accessible or accommodating for travelers with disabilities.

What about situations where luggage is delayed?


Passengers who submit a mishandled baggage report are now eligible for a refund of the checked bag fee. This applies if their bag isn't delivered within 12 hours of their domestic flight arriving at the gate, or if it's not delivered within 15 to 30 hours of their international flight arriving at the gate, depending on the duration of that flight.

How will passengers get their refund money?

Airlines have a new policy in place. Now, they're obligated to automatically provide refunds to passengers, without the passengers needing to ask for it. That's great news! The refunds will be processed quickly – within 7 business days for credit card payments, and 20 calendar days for other payment methods. Easy and hassle-free!

Is it possible to receive the refund in cash?

Absolutely! One of the advantages of this new regulation is that airlines can no longer simply provide a travel voucher with an expiration date as a resolution. Instead, the refund must be issued in the original form of payment, whether that's cash, credit card, or miles. Airlines can offer alternative compensation, such as travel vouchers, but only if the passenger willingly agrees to it.

Moreover, airlines are now required to promptly inform passengers affected by a canceled or significantly altered flight about their entitlement to a refund.

When does this new rule take effect?

The updated policy on refunds will come into force on October 28th.

Are there any other reasons travelers can get compensation?

Passengers who are unable to travel to, from, or within the United States due to a medical issue caused by a serious contagious disease are now entitled to receive a travel credit or voucher. These vouchers must be transferable and valid for at least 5 years from the date they're issued.

In these cases, travelers may need to provide proof of their reason for not traveling.

This new regulation will come into force on April 28th, 2025.

Enjoy a stress-free airport arrival and departure with us –!

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Traveling worldwide shouldn't be something tiring – conversely, that's the time you can enjoy both the amazing landscapes of our Earth and joint activities with your loved ones. Nevertheless, things don't always go as planned, and we're at risk to face some challenges even at such an enjoyable moment. One such problem is actually airport parking, specifically its price. Let's have a look at the situation a bit closer.

If you used to get to the airport you're flying from by your own car, you probably know what we're talking about – the question of parking cost arises every time. You'll be definitely shocked – even though most US airports provide travelers with on-site parking, which allows them to leave their vehicles for their entire journey there, such a parking type is unfairly overpriced. Choosing this parking option, your next trip just might cost you a fortune. And that's not even considering it's complicated to find a free parking spot for your car. Since nobody wants to waste money and travel inconveniently, there begs the following question: is there actually any solution?

And we're happy to say – yes, there is one!

What is off-site parking and why is it worth choosing this option exactly?

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Your best solution is already here – off-site parking lots that are just a few miles from the airport. Our smart booking platform with easy-to-use interface,, helps our clients to select off-site airport parking lots with the most affordable rates, along with high-quality service. In addition, we offer the services for the major US cruise ports that are located in Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, and Texas as well.

Why choose an off-site parking option? The answer is pretty straightforward – it's cheap and convenient. Using our services, first of all, you'll avoid the following difficulties you might face while getting to the airport you're departing from:

  • Crowded parking lots,
  • Carrying the luggage all the way through the parking lot,
  • Expensive fees without great service, and much more.

Everything works simply as well: after you've driven to the entrance, you'll be met by a parking lot staff who will take your luggage from your vehicle and load it onto the shuttle, which will take you and your bags to the airport terminal. Then, your car will be securely parked at the parking lot itself.

By the way, free shuttles going back and forth between the parking lot and the airport terminals are available 24/7. All that's required of you is to make a call and inform staff about the time suitable for you.

Forget about all the nightmares by choosing!

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For better understanding, we'd like to give you a good example.

Let's imagine that you live in Cincinnati, Kentucky, USA. If you're going to visit Toronto, Ontario, Canada, use the services of affordable parking near CVG Airport. In the event that you're flying from Toronto, choose cheap Pearson Airport valet parking. As you can see, everything just depends on the place where your journey begins.

Our friendly platform also provides travelers with special airport parking coupons that can make the price almost two times less. And that's without taking into account that our services will cost you up to 70% less at all! So don't forget to monitor all the updates and use them while booking!

Making a reservation is easy with us – it's possible to complete the process through a few clicks on our website. Besides, if your plans change, you can cancel hassle-free and get a refund.

If you still have any questions, turn to our easy-to-navigate website – there, you'll find all the required info connected with the off-site parking. Airport parking, along with its pricing, provided by the majority of US airports, is a true nightmare, but if you know the place, your life can be much easier. Let yourself travel in full comfort right now – Park Smart & Choose Convenience together with us! And have a nice trip!