The Wall Street Journal reports that many airlines may be in violation of federal rules by “limiting reimbursement” when a traveler’s baggage is lost, delayed or damaged on domestic flights, and the federal government is finally cracking down to help consumers.lost baggage

According to the article, a number of airlines will pay for expenses only after the first 24 hours from a flight’s arrival.  Additionally, many airlines also put a limit on what they’ll offer to pay passengers per day for expenses related to the lost luggage – which the DOT says is a violation of its domestic baggage-liability rule. The only limit allowed, the agency says, is that total liability for lost domestic baggage is $3,300 per passenger, including replacement costs and incidental expenses.

‘”Travelers should not have to pay for toiletries or other necessities while they wait for baggage misplaced by airlines,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. “We expect airlines to comply with all of our regulations and will take enforcement action if they do not.”‘

The DOT has given airlines 90 days to modify their rules and practices before the agency launches any enforcement actions.

Here’s more travel news you can use:

  • Air New Zealand is conducting a “Matchmaking Flight” in which single passengers participate in speed dating and matchmaking games.   Many of these traveling singles have already gotten a sneak peek at some of the folks they’ll be meeting along the way via online profiles posted on the airline’s social media website (check them out at thematchmakingflight.com).
  • Air Canada now offers both free BlackBerry and iPhone applications for travellers.  Travellers with BlackBerry smartphones will be able to get real-time flight information from Air Canada, which claims to be the first North American carrier to offer such a service.  The BlackBerry app will also provide information for Jazz flights, the Halifax-based regional carrier.  Travellers will be able get electronic boarding passes and other flight details such as delays and itinerary changes.  The airline also is planning to offer WiFi services on some flights to the U.S west coast.
  • Manchester UK Airport has admitted it might be illegal for children to use its new “nude” security scanner when it comes into operation at the end of the month. ( The full body scanner reveals everything under clothing… in detail.)  The airport has now said that no one under 18 will be subject to scanning until it can clarify the law on indecent images of children.