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The Plane Truth: Airline Travel Gets Rougher

The Plane Truth: Airline Travel Gets Rougher

Air travelers who thought last year was rough need to fasten their seat belts; experts predict passengers will face even more delays and higher costs this year.

Starting Monday, American Airlines will begin charging passengers $25 to check a second bag, a policy kicked off two days ago by United Airlines.

In an effort to conserve costly fuel, many carriers are beginning to fly a bit slower, but that's not the reason your flight will come in late. By filling every seat and going lean on staff, "record delays are possible again; so are record cancellations," the Wall Street Journal reports.

In one bit of good news, if you do get bumped off your flight, you'll be paid better. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that starting May 21, airlines must double their maximum compensation to bumped passengers. This will allow payments as high as $800 depending on the ticket price and length of the delay. The old rule, in place since 1978, capped compensation at $400 and applied only to planes seating at least 60 people. Now, however, the regulations apply to planes with as few as 30 seats.

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