Lost or delayed bag? You'll soon get a baggage fee refund

August 4, 2016 Mark Dauner

Every business traveler knows that lost or delayed checked baggage is an unfortunate fact of life. As sophisticated as airline baggage systems have become, the complexity of the air travel system still results in checked bags that are delayed from time to time. To complicate matters even more, most major airlines now require passengers to pay a fee in order to check their bag. 

What happens to that fee when your bag is delayed?  It depends on the airline but most require the passenger to fill out a form, and if approved, the passenger can expect to receive a partial refund or travel voucher. Rarely is the fee fully refunded.

That's about to change.  The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2016, which was signed into law in July, will require airlines to issue a prompt refund to checked bag fees when bags are delayed more than 12 hours after domestic flight arrival or 15 hours after international flight arrival. To get the refund the passenger must notify the airline of baggage that is lost or delayed. 

The purpose of this new measure is to make life easier for busy travelers by keeping them from jumping through hoops when bags are lost or delayed. The new regulation has not taken effect yet but it's expected to within one year. We'll keep an eye out and will report back when it happens.  Be sure to keep checking Insights for updates!

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