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Tough airline sanctions approved by lawmakers

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Mexico City — Airlines are punished for making passengers suffer, under a bill that has passed the lower house of Congress.

The federal Chamber of Deputies has passed a bill punishing airlines for flight delays and cancellations. The legislation moves on to the Senate for deliberation.

Under the measure, delays from one to four hours leaves the carrier responsible for meals, compensation or a discount on a future flight — if the airline is at fault.

After four hours, the flight is officially considered canceled and fully refundable, with additional compensation due of at least 25 percent of the original ticket price. Plus, the airline has to offer substitute transportation on its next available flight.

For passengers who have to wait overnight, the airline must provide phone and internet access, meals, lodging and ground transportation.

Travelers with a round-trip ticket who miss the flight’s first leg, for whatever reason, are entitled to be reimbursed for the return flight. Right now, passengers are on the hook for both flights if they arrive late at the airport.

Media reports out of Mexico City did not weigh the legislation’s chances for success in Senate.

Source: El Universal 

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