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US proposes new rules on airline cancellations, delays | WGN Radio 720

The Biden administration is working on new regulations that require airlines to compensate passengers and cover meals and hotel rooms if they are stranded for reasons within the airline’s control.

The White House said President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will announce the start of the rulemaking process on Monday.

The rulemaking pledges continue pressure from the Democratic administration to require airlines to improve customer service, and come just weeks before the peak summer travel season begins.

The purpose of the rule is to pay airlines compensation beyond ticket refunds and costs incurred by consumers, including rebooking on a different flight, when airlines cause cancellations or significant delays. The first is to request that the

“If an airline cancels or delays a flight, passengers should not be held liable,” Buttigieg said in a statement.

Cancellations caused by airlines include flights scrubbed due to mechanical problems on the plane or lack of crew.

Airlines for America, which represents the largest airlines, said in a statement that airlines have no incentive to delay or cancel flights. More than half of all cancellations in 2022 and 2023 will be due to “extreme weather” or air traffic control outages, according to industry groups.

“Airlines have taken responsibility for the issues under their control and are working diligently to improve operational reliability, including hiring more workers and shortening schedules,” the group said. It continues,” he said.

According to Department of Transportation statistics, airlines asked tens of thousands of workers to retire or retire early after the pandemic hit, but since November 2020, they have added about 118,000 workers to help prevent the pandemic. We have 5% more employees than before.

It is unclear if or when the Department of Transportation will release final rules on new traveler compensation. The rule-making process can take months or years.

Currently, if an airline cancels a flight for any reason, consumers are entitled to a refund of the unused portion of the ticket and certain additional fees they may have paid the airline, such as checked baggage and seat selection fees. You can request it. Airlines often try to persuade consumers to accept travel vouchers instead of refunds.

After massive flight disruptions last summer, the Department of Transportation posted an online dashboard designed to pressure airlines to improve customer service. The site allows consumers to review each airline’s policies regarding refunds and compensation for canceled or delayed flights.

The 10 largest US airlines have quickly pledged to offer cash or meal vouchers if cancellations force passengers to wait at least three hours for their next flight. Nine of the 10 airlines, excluding Frontier Airlines, have also pledged to pay for lodging for passengers stranded overnight.

Questions have again arisen about consumer out-of-pocket expense reimbursement after Southwest Airlines canceled nearly 17,000 flights during its service meltdown in December. We are investigating whether you had more flights scheduled than you could handle.

The Department of Transportation says it is working with airlines to reduce cancellations and delays this summer, when air travel could surpass pre-coronavirus pandemic records.

A report last month from Congress’ Government Accountability Office blamed airlines for a spike in cancellations as air travel began to recover in 2021 and early 2022. The Federal Aviation Administration also caused chaos due to technology outages and staffing shortages. The FAA recently advised airlines to reduce flights to and from New York’s major airports this summer due to insufficient air traffic controllers at critical facilities.

https://wgnradio.com/news/business-news/us-to-propose-new-rules-for-airline-cancellations-delays/ US proposes new rules on airline cancellations, delays | WGN Radio 720

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