DALLAS—The Department of Transportation is cracking down on airlines that don't compensate passengers whose bags are lost or delayed.
The rules demand airlines pay passengers for expenses if there bags are misplaced and to cover - up to $3,300 - if bags are lost.
Last week Spirit Airlines was given an unprecedented $350,000 fine for not immediately paying passengers for clothing, shoes and accessories if their bags are delayed. "Travelers should not have to pay for toiletries or other necessities while they wait for baggage misplaced by airlines," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.
Passenger Jared Johnson said his bag was late by several days and received only a $50 voucher but only after he complained. "That's new to me, I just thought you were at the mercy of them to decide what they want to do," said Johnson.
The DOT sent letters to Airline officials, reminding them that baggage policies must reflect the DOT's policy.
"We don't anticipate that were going to loose your bag," said David Castelveter with the Air Transport Association. Castelveter said the airlines are not perfect and bags will be lost. "I remind people, it's public transportation" said Castelveter. "if a passenger looses a suit from JC Penny and he wants us to reimburse him for an Armani, should we have to buy him a new suit?"