On Tuesday, the Department of Transportation released its updated handbook on airline consumer travel rights, "Fly Rights: A Consumer Guide To Air Travel." The handbook now includes information on everything from how to avoid deep venous thrombosis (the solution: walk up and down the cabin a few times to keep legs moving) to how to avoid involuntary bumping (a more involved description).
Some of the information is self-evident. On airfares, for instance, the booklet says: "Some airlines may have discounts that others don't offer. In a large metropolitan area, the fare could depend on which airport you use. Also, a connection (change of planes) or a one-stop flight is sometimes cheaper than a nonstop."
Other information, however, is not. If you're flying to a smaller destination and your flight number has four digits, for instance, you may have been booked on a commuter airline that has a "code-share" agreement with a major carrier. According to this report, you must be made aware of this before you fly.
If you're bumped from a flight involuntarily and the airline re-books you on a flight that arrives one to two hours after you were originally set to arrive (or between one and four hours on international flights), the airline is required to pay you the equivalent of a one-way fare to that destination that day, within a $400 maximum.
This handbook may not be a riveting read, but it's always good to know your rights, especially when flying.