Reinstating the Reciprocity Rule

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WHEREAS, the airlines used to follow the Reciprocity Rule, Rule 240, before airline deregulation;

WHEREAS, the airlines used to book passengers on another carrier’s flight if the original flight was cancelled;

WHEREAS, the Reciprocity Rule maximizes the efficiency of the air transportation system, minimizes the disruption, costs and inconveniences for both passengers and airlines;

WHEREAS, the airlines use outdated computer systems not originally designed for modern capacity;

WHEREAS, airline computer outages have occurred with increasing frequency in the past 5 years;

WHEREAS, airline computer outages cause thousands of flight cancellations and delays and have caused hardship and unnecessary expenses for millions of passengers, due to airlines no longer granting reciprocal travel rights to passengers in case of flight disruptions;

WHEREAS, the airlines only take half measures to make passengers whole for the airline’s mistake, often causing unnecessary delays and extra passenger expenses;

NOW THEREFORE, the undersigned support the FlyersRights.org petition calling for the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to:

  1. Reinstate the reciprocity rule, requiring airlines to place passengers on the next available flight on any airline with available space flying to the passenger’s destination, regardless of the airline, with no additional cost to the passenger;
  2. When adequate re-booking is not possible, allow the passenger the option of a refund or a complimentary re-booking within 12 months.


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