By Pete Muntean and Nicky Robertson | CNN

The US Division of Transportation has proposed modifications to permit airline passengers to hunt refunds below circumstances together with main delays and Covid-19.

The division introduced Wednesday proposed modifications to federal company guidelines that may permit passengers to hunt a refund if an airline modifications departure or arrival occasions for a home flight by three hours or extra, modifications the arrival or departure airport, modifications or provides connections in a flight itinerary, or modifications the kind of airplane being flown by the airline “if it causes a major downgrade within the air journey expertise or facilities obtainable onboard the flight.”

The proposed guidelines additionally would increase protections for shoppers who’re unable to fly for pandemic-related causes and have nonrefundable tickets, permitting them to obtain journey credit or vouchers that don’t expire. These shoppers is also eligible for refunds from airways that acquired important authorities monetary help.

The announcement comes because the Biden administration goals to crack down on airways which have been fighting hundreds of cancellations and delays.

For years, Division of Transportation guidelines have solely required airways to supply passengers a refund if carriers “considerably change” a flight.

The division stated Wednesday it has acquired a “flood” of complaints from passengers looking for refunds from airways because the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic “as a result of airways canceled or considerably modified their flights or as a result of the shoppers determined to not fly for pandemic-related causes equivalent to well being issues.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated on CNN’s “New Day” Thursday that this “rulemaking has been within the works for a while,” including that it will “increase passenger rights.”

“We wish to make that certain we’re being considerate. So proper now, when you have enter on this proposed rule, there’s a window to make your voice heard on the Division of Transportation web site. And, after all, we’re persevering with to evaluate different measures that we will take to enhance the passenger expertise,” he informed CNN’s John Avlon.

The division may also maintain a digital public listening to on the rule for August 22.