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DOT makes passenger-friendly changes to compensation, involuntary bumps and more

Jan. 31, 2021
2 min read
DOT makes passenger-friendly changes to compensation, involuntary bumps and more
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The Department of Transportation earlier this month made some passenger-friendly updates to air travel.

DOT, under the Trump administration, announced in the Federal Register that passengers may not be "involuntarily bumped" from a flight after their boarding pass "has been collected or scanned and the passenger has boarded." The rule goes into effect on April 13, 2021.

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In 2017, Dr. David Dao was forcibly removed from United Airlines Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville after being involuntarily bumped. What followed was a viral video, a barrage of media coverage, a lawsuit and the start of a conversation on passengers' rights that would leave a permanent mark on the airline industry.

If a flight is oversold, DOT says airlines must request volunteers -- and pay them -- for denied boarding before using any other boarding priority, even if the passenger isn't aware that they're eligible for compensation. Additionally, airlines must provide compensation "proactively" instead of waiting for passengers to request compensation if a flight is oversold.

The DOT also updated the maximum amount that U.S. and foreign airlines may pay for passengers who are bumped from the current figures of $675 and $1,350 to $775 and $1,550.

For delays of more than one hour but less than two hours for domestic flights, and one hour but less than four hours for international flights, airlines are now required to provide passengers at least 200% of the passenger’s one-way fare or $775, whichever is lower. For delays of more than two hours for domestic flights and delays of more than four hours for international flights, airlines must provide 400% of the passenger’s one-way fare or $1,550.

The rule also increased the liability limit U.S. airlines may impose for mishandled baggage from $3,500 to $3,800.

Featured image by GC Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
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  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases