Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricanes and Regulations

Many of the major domestic carriers will waive specified fees and rules attached to rebooking or changing flights for customers whose travel plans are likely to be impacted by Hurricane Irene. See Ben Mutzabaugh, Airlines Waive Fees, Rules Ahead of Hurricane Irene, USA Today Travel, Aug. 25, 2011 (available here).  This is fairly common in the industry for severe weather events and only seemed worth mentioning in light of yesterday's post on the new passenger protection rules. For those who view the DOT's regulations as unnecessary and burdensome, this serves as a timely example of a passenger-friendly accommodation offered by airlines without the need for regulatory prompting. Those that welcome the passenger protection regulations are likely to counter that the airlines might have avoided government involvement had they been more proactive about adopting common sense measures such as this to respond to customer inconvenience.

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