The U.S. Transportation Department is considering a proposal that requires all airlines operating in the United States to refund fees on checked bags if those bags are delayed in being delivered to passengers within 12 hours of their U.S. flight touching down or 25 hours after an international flight.
There are occasions that airlines have not been able to deliver their luggage within that time window, so the Transportation Department is working to make sure refunds work more in the passengers' favor. Right now, airlines only pay refunds if the bag is lost. Airlines are also required to pay refunds for "reasonable" incidental expenses that passengers incur while bags are delayed.
President Joe Biden is expected to sign off on the proposal and it's expected to go into effect by Summer 2022.
According to an ABC news story, there were more than 100,000 travelers in 2020 who contacted the government about some aspect of their travel.
The final details of the proposal are not known just yet, but what is known is that travelers and travel providers seem to favor the proposal, as do the Biden administration and the Department of Transportation.
How to Avoid Delayed Bags in the First Place
Of course, travelers can avoid delayed bags and baggage fees in the first place, and never have to deal with the headaches of a lost bag or even having to wait for your bag to be returned to you after your flight.
That, of course, is to pack everything you can into a carry-on bag. After all, with a carry-on bag, you can carry up to 10 days' worth of outfits, take the bag onto the plane with you, and then walk off the plane and to your car, easy-peasy.
(Remember, pack things that can be switched and combined, like tan or olive slacks and blue or black shirts, or black slacks and white blouses. Wear your heaviest shoes on the plane. And be prepared to do laundry if you're going to stay for more than a week.)
There are no checked bag fees, no deals with delays, and you can have everything with you that you need. Of course, you'll need to learn how to pack light. If you can manage that, then you never have to worry about your baggage at all.
Anything that doesn't fit in the bag can fit in your personal item, which can be a purse, briefcase, or even a backpack. Load your computer, a few essentials, and your travel gadgets. Once the plane lands, you're ready to go, and you never have to worry about picking up a checked bag again.