Passengers in the United Airlines corridor, Chicago O’Hare Airport
Biden: “I know how frustrated many of you are with the service you get from US airlines, especially
after you, the American taxpayer, stepped up in 2020 to provide nearly 50 billion
in assistance to keep the airline industry and its employees afloat.
You deserve to be fully compensated.”
by Mary Foran
US President Joe Biden and transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg announced a proposed new rule to compensate airline passengers affected by carrier-caused delays and cancellations.
Under the proposal, airlines would be required to cover certain expenses for passengers as well as pay them for the inconveniences they experience.
The causes for flight delays and cancellations are many: technical failures, system outages and staffing shortages among other factors.
According to data from the US Department of Transportation, around 20 percent of flights were delayed last year. The weather was often to blame, but airlines were frequently at fault.
Said Biden, “I know how frustrated many of you are with the service you get from US airlines, especially after you, the American taxpayer, stepped up in 2020…to provide nearly 50 billion in assistance to keep the airline industry and its employees afloat.” He added, “You deserve to be fully compensated.”
In addition to refunds, the Biden Administration would like airlines to provide customers with cash payments following major travel disruptions. These payments would cover hotel expenses, meal buying and cab rides.
According to a statement from Airlines for America, a trade association, more than half of last year’s cancellations were due to extreme weather.
“US airlines have no incentive to delay or cancel a flight and do everything in their control to ensure that flights depart and arrive on time—but safety is always a top priority. We have the safest air travel system in the world because we never compromise on safety,” the statement said.
Featured image/Scarlet Sappho, CC Y-SA2.0 via Flickr
Biden: “Holding airlines accountable”, Official White House photo/Cameron Smith, US government work
Airlines for America logo from www.airlines.org, Fair use via Wikipedia
US DOT seal. Source: DOT. PD via Wikipedia
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