U.S. to force airlines to give extra compensation for delays
U.S. President Joe Biden said Monday that his administration is preparing a new regulation that will force airlines to grant extra compensation to passengers when they are responsible for delays and cancellations.
“My Administration will propose a historic new rule that will force all U.S. airlines to compensate with meals, hotels, cabs, reservation change fees and cash, miles, or coupons. travel vouchers when they are at fault for the cancellation or delay,” he explained in a statement to the press.
So far there are only two major airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBluewhich, in addition to the usual compensation, such as meal vouchers or hotel nights, offer travel bonuses when the difference with respect to the initial departure time exceeds three hours.
Only Alaska Airlines commits to. compensate with miles in such cases.but no airline in the country guarantees cash compensation.
“Passengers in Canada, the European Union and elsewhere already receive these compensations.And you know what? They work. According to one study, the number of delays in the EU declined. when airlines were forced to compensate passengers for delays,” said Biden, who noted that his administration will introduce the new rules “at a later date”.
A new website
Their announcement is in addition to the launch of a new website, flightrights.govwhich provides passengers with more transparency on compensation for delays and cancellations, including information on which carriers provide cash, miles or travel vouchers.
Biden has stressed that the passenger “deserves more than to see his ticket price compensated” because. their time “matters.”. “We are making progress, but we need to do more to reverse decades of concentrated corporate power and continue to lower prices and increase opportunities for families,” he has argued.
The Department of Transportation has, in turn, pointed out in a statement that the planned regulations seek to ensure that passengers are better protected against financial losses that may result from cancellations or delays.
The announcements are produced on the eve of the start of the summer season. and after last Christmas winter storm Elliot caused thousands of cancellations and particularly affected Southwest Airlines.
The Department of Transportation has recalled that last year they imposed “record” fines that helped “hundreds of thousands of people” recover “hundreds of millions of dollars” for delays or cancellations.
Regulations now taking shape would require airlines to. “proactively” report passengers about the compensation to which they are entitled when there are changes of more than three hours for domestic flights and more than six hours for international flights.
They would also be required to offer travel vouchers that do not expire. when a person is unable to travel due to covid or other communicable diseases.
“The summer season is going to put enormous pressure on the system. and we need to continue the work (…) We are working to ensure that Americans have a better experience with our transportation system,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told reporters.