MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Flight delays and cancelations have been an issue for many travelers this summer. The federal government is looking at new rules it said would significantly strengthen protections for people trying to get a refund from airlines.

The current rule that airlines have instated requires them to give refunds if a flight is canceled or has a significant change, but there’s no definition of significant change.

The United States Department of Transportation said that leads to inconsistencies in how each airline gives refunds.

“This proposal would codify the Department’s longstanding interpretation that a failure to provide refunds when a carrier cancels or significantly changes a flight to, from, or within the United States is an unfair practice,” USDOT said in a release.

The new rule would define significant change and cancellation. 

It would require airlines to give a refund if a domestic flight is delayed more than three hours, an international flight is delayed more than six hours, there is a change to your airport, an increase in the number of connections and changes to the type of aircraft that significantly downgrade the experience or onboard amenities.

David Slotnick is a Senior Aviation Business Reporter at The Points Guy.

“If this is something where the flight isn’t staffed properly, or there’s a mechanical issue, that is something that the airlines can control, and this is really a strong consumer protection if it ends up passing,” Slotnick said.

Slotnick said it would likely not apply to weather delays since that’s out of the airline’s control, but the final rules are still being worked out.

Refunds were the number one consumer complaint USDOT received last year when it came to air travel.

Marcus Anderson of Raleigh flies about two or three times a week. He said he hasn’t had any issues recently, but thinks the rules are a good idea.

“I think it’s cool, and I think it’s needed to hold the airlines accountable for some of these things, and say, you know, if you don’t do right by the people you have to give them their money back,” Anderson said.

You can let the USDOT know how you feel about the proposal by submitting comments here.

There will be a virtual meeting on the topic Monday, click here for more details.