As the summer travel season approaches, the Biden administration unveiled a new plan on Monday to hold airlines accountable for flight cancellations and delays. Under the proposal, airlines will be required to compensate passengers for significant delays and cancellations caused by issues within their control, such as staffing or mechanical problems. This could include rebooking flights, covering hotel rooms, meals, and other expenses like taxis, ride shares, rebooking fees, and cash miles or travel vouchers.
President Joe Biden explained that passengers could check the dashboard to see how airlines should compensate them for delays or cancellations caused by the carriers. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg added that billions in passenger airfare expenses have already been recovered in the past year, with the administration helping passengers get better information and refunds. However, some passengers remain skeptical about the plan’s effectiveness, believing that airlines might find other ways to avoid fines and questioning whether it will truly help passengers or protect airline employees.
Airlines for America, a trade group representing major carriers, stated that airlines have no incentive to delay or cancel flights. The group reported that more than half of cancellations in 2022 and 2023 have been due to “extreme weather” or air traffic control outages. More information about the new plan can be found here.
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