The Civil Aeronautics Board proposed Thursday that an airline take responsibility for getting charter passengers home if they are stranded because of an airline strike or other problems.
Right now, the tour operator who has arranged the charter bears the responsibility.
Under the CAB's proposed regulation, the airlines would be required to arrange return transportation at no additional cost for passengers whose charter tours are cancelled in midtrip because the airline on which the tour was booked suffered a strike, an unexpected equipment shortage or other problem that has made the return flight impossible to perform.
Unlike passengers who avail themselves of group fares on scheduled air services and buy tickets directly from the airline, the passengers on a charter buy tickets from a tour operator.
Under current regulations, airlines generally absolve themselves of responsibility for returning charter passengers should there be a problem.
The board's proposed action was prompted by a petition from Golden Holiday Tours Inc., which claimed that many tour operators lost thousands of dollars last year refunding passengers' tour money when World Airways went on strike. The operators who arranged return trips with other airlines had to pay far more for the return passage on scheduled airlines than was refuned to them by World, the petition stated.