When the airline is at fault for a flight being canceled or considerably delayed, the compensation would be in addition to ticket refunds. It would provide consumers in the United States with safeguards comparable to those provided in the European Union.
In response to the recent surge in airline delays and cancellations across the United States, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has vowed to tackle the issue head-on, ensuring smoother travelexperiences for millions of passengers.
Acknowledging the frustration and inconvenience caused by these disruptions, Secretary Buttigieg has pledged swift action and a comprehensive approach to address the underlying challenges faced by the aviation industry.
Speaking at a press conference held at the Department of Transportation Headquarters, Secretary Buttigieg highlighted the critical importance of a robust and reliable transportation network. He said:
Efficient air travel is vital for both our economy and the everyday lives of American citizens. We must address the current challenges head-on and work collaboratively with airlines, stakeholders, and industry experts to find effective solutions.- Buttigieg
The recent surge in delays and cancellations has been attributed to a variety of factors, including severe weather conditions, staffing shortages, and technical glitches. Secretary Buttigieg acknowledged the complexity of these issues and stressed the need for a multi-faceted approach to mitigate their impact.
He expressed his intent to convene discussions with industry leaders, unions, and other relevant parties to identify practical solutions and implement necessary reforms.
The announcement by Secretary Buttigieg has been met with a positive response from both industry insiders and travelers affected by recent disruptions.
Airlines and unions have expressed their willingness to collaborate with the Department of Transportation to find sustainable solutions and improve the overall travel experience.
As Secretary Buttigieg takes charge of this crucial issue, passengers across the United States hope that his comprehensive approach will pave the way for a more reliable and efficient air travel system.
By addressing the underlying causes of delays and cancellations and implementing necessary reforms, the Department of Transportation aims to restore confidence in the aviation industry and ensure seamless journeys for passengers nationwide.
The guidelines, as stated by Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg at the White House, will focus on cancellations and extended delays caused by things like technical difficulties with the plane or a shortage of a crew.
Airlines for America, which represents the largest carriers, stated in a statement that there is no incentive for airlines to postpone or cancel flights. According to the trade organization, "extreme weather" or air traffic control disruptions have caused more than half of the cancellations in 2022 and 2023.
Following the epidemic, airlines got $54 billion in federal help, which included a ban on layoffs, but that didn't stop companies from paying tens of thousands of employees to resign or retire early.
According to Transportation Department estimates, airlines have added around 118,000 jobs since November 2020, and currently employ 5% more people than before the epidemic.
So far this year, the percentage of canceled flights has dropped to 1.6%, down from 2.1% in the same period last year. Delays, on the other hand, are somewhat more prevalent and last a few minutes longer on average, according to FlightAware statistics.