Biden Administration sets new rules for airlines to protect travelers

In a move that Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg says will "build confidence" in air travel, the Biden administration says airlines will soon have a new set of rules to follow when it comes to passengers booked on canceled or significantly delayed flights.

Under new rules—expected to take effect this Fall—airlines will be required to automatically provide cash refunds for a canceled flight or any flight that is significantly delayed if the cancellation or delay forced you to make other travel plans.

"When an airline knows that all [passengers] instead of just a few of the passengers on a canceled flight are likely to actually get their money back, it gives them a different set of reasons to put in the investment and the realistic scheduling that makes those cancellations less likely to happen to begin with," Buttigieg said. 

Under current regulations, airlines get to decide how long a delay lasts before offering compensation.  But now-- there is a federal guideline. You can get your money back if a domestic flight is delayed more than 3 hours or if an international flight is delayed more than six.

RELATED: Biden's new airline rules could get you cash back for canceled flights

Buttigieg says they are also implementing other rules to minimize what he calls "surprise fees."  Airlines will now be required to show you the total cost of a trip upfront—no more hidden fees for things like checked or carry-on bags. This applies to whether you’re shopping on an airline’s website or a third-party discount travel website like Expedia or Travelocity.

"It's going to be no fun for airlines like frontier that just show you like a base fare," said Clint Henderson, managing editor at The Points Guy.

Henderson says the move is good news for consumers, but he wishes airlines would be required to go even further. For example, if your flight is canceled, but you opt to take the next available flight later that day or even the next day, you would not be eligible for the refund.

"[In Europe] they will give you up to hundreds of dollars back if your flight is substantially delayed or canceled. We're not seeing that, and I don't think we're going to see that in the U.S. It would just be too expensive for the airlines," Henderson said.