New protections for airline passengers proposed by Obama administration

Thursday, June 3, 2010


U.S. proposes new passenger protections

Airline passengers would receive as much as $1,300, up from the current $800, for being bumped from a flight and would have 24 hours to cancel reservations without penalty under consumer protections proposed by the Obama administration.

The new rules would require airlines to fully and prominently disclose baggage fees as well as refunds and expense reimbursement when bags are not on time; provide special notice when fees go up; and notify ticket-buyers if they must pay to check bags.

Price increases after a ticket is purchased would be barred, and airlines would have to give timely notice of flight-status changes. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood estimated that the new rules would go into effect this fall.

-- Associated Press


Home sales contracts up 6 percent in April

The number of contracts to buy previously owned homes shot up in April to its highest level in six months as people scrambled to qualify for a lucrative federal tax credit before it expired, according to industry data released Wednesday. The pending home sales index jumped 6 percent from March to 110.9, its third straight monthly gain, the National Association of Realtors said. Contract signings for existing homes rose in every region of the country except the South, where activity fell 0.6 percent.

The data add to a recent spate of upbeat reports about home sales. But many who track the industry say the tax credit enticed some people to buy homes earlier than they had planned. Later in the selling season, which typically lasts through August, economists expect sales to sag.

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