Travelers may get refunds for delayed checked luggage

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Some changes could be coming to airports and airlines, and they're all in an effort to benefit you, the traveler. 

President Obama announced executive action Wednesday with the main item being to provide refunds to travelers who experience delays getting their checked luggage.

Checking bags gives travelers the convenience of bringing large items and not having to carry them on the plane, but whenever something happens to those bags in transition, that convenience goes away.

"Oh yeah, just now I thought something happened to my stuff but it didn't," said traveler Wanda Brown. "I just had to wait a few minutes."

No one wants to be waiting at baggage claim while their bag is somewhere else.

"It's part of the process right?" said Jim Wickens. "So, you just live with it."

But Wednesday, the Obama administration announced plans to get you a refund if it does happen. The new executive action states that passengers would be refunded for substantially delayed bags, and airports would be required to report their total number of mishandled checked bags.

Airlines already refund bag fees for lost luggage.

"I hope it sticks and I think everybody will like it," Brown said. 

Wickens worries that this will lead airlines to increase prices.

"They're going to make up that cost somewhere else," Wickens said. "They'll charge more on your tickets or more fees somewhere else, so I don't know that it buys everyone a great deal."

The initiative also includes items that protect travelers with disabilities and prohibits online ticket agencies from having bias treatment toward certain airlines. It also requires large airlines to report data on all of their domestic flights, not just ones they select. Those items won't be as noticeable to your typical traveler, as the added financial security when checking a bag.

"That's exciting," Brown said. "I hope it doesn't happen to me, but that's good to know."

The Obama administration says all of this is to make travel easier and more fair.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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