April 19, 2024

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Voicing concerns about the DOT’s refund rule: Travel Weekly

Voicing concerns about the DOT’s refund rule: Travel Weekly
Mark Pestronk

Mark Pestronk

Q: In the Aug. 29 Lawful Briefs column, you answered a bunch
of thoughts about the DOT’s proposed rule that would make travel organizations
liable for refunds for canceled and significantly delayed flights. What
the DOT wants to do is just so amazing. In any case, I have a several additional
inquiries. To start with, what is the deadline for filing responses in opposition to the

A: The deadline is Nov. 21. In our responses, you can question for
a public hearing on the proposed rule, and if the DOT agrees to hold a hearing,
which it almost certainly will, it will be held early subsequent calendar year.

Q: Do I need to have a attorney to symbolize my agency and submit

A: No, but owning a law firm draft opinions in the formal way
that airline and other affiliation legal professionals do tends to make certain that the DOT will
acquire the reviews into account and refer them in the closing policies explanatory statement.
On the other hand, if you just post a letter or send out an e mail, you will
probably be lumped in with all the other commenters who oppose the rule.

Q: Just the 7 days, ExpressJet Airways and its subsidiary or
division known as Aha! filed for personal bankruptcy and shut down. It is relatively obvious
that the carriers do not have the revenue to make refunds. If our agency experienced marketed
an Aha! ticket, would we be obligated to make the refunds out of our personal
pocket? If so, by what deadline?

A: Certainly, you would be so obligated. The deadlines would be
seven business enterprise days for credit card sales and 20 days for money sales. These
deadlines would utilize no matter of no matter whether the customer has previously requested the
credit card corporation to reverse the charge and irrespective of regardless of whether the carrier’s
bankruptcy continuing might consequence in a refund. I know that sounds ridiculous, and I
have to imagine that the DOT will generate exceptions.

Q: I recognized that the airways and vacation agencies can
concern credits or vouchers if the consumer agrees. How can we problem a voucher on
our own?

A: I don’t see how you can until the airline sets up some
type of voucher system that organizations can make the most of. Undoubtedly, ARC will need to
be included in the procedure.

Q: Given that the extensive vast majority of journey businesses in the U.S.,
which include residence-dependent impartial contractors, don’t have the funds to make
refunds and there is no way for them to concern vouchers, why does the DOT want
us on the hook?

A: The DOT’s rationale is that “which entity is in
possession of the money would not essentially be clear to the shopper mainly because
various entities may perhaps be associated in the transaction approach.” So the purchaser
may perhaps look to either of them and may get started with the company.

Q:The proposed rule document is 116 internet pages extensive. Can you
refer us to a fantastic synopsis of the important points.

A: The very best one I have found is at www.cozen.com. Click on news and events and lookup
publications for “DOT challenges.”