Biden administration to require airlines compensate customers for flight delays or cancellations

Washington DC - President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg are set to announce a new rule on Monday that would require airline companies to pay up in cases of preventable cancellations or delays.

US airline passengers have experienced mass delays and cancellations in recent months, prompting the Biden administration to act.
US airline passengers have experienced mass delays and cancellations in recent months, prompting the Biden administration to act.  © MICHAEL CIAGLO / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

"When an airline causes a flight cancellation or delay, passengers should not foot the bill," Buttigieg said in a statement, according to CNN.

"This rule would, for the first time in US history, propose to require airlines to compensate passengers and cover expenses such as meals, hotels, and rebooking in cases where the airline has caused a cancellation or significant delay," he added.

A White House official told the outlet that Biden and Buttigieg will release a new dashboard at FlightRights.gov showing which airlines "offer cash compensation, provide travel credits or vouchers, or award frequent flyer miles and cover the costs for other amenities."

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At the moment, the official said no airlines give monetary compensation for preventable cancellations or delays, while just one provides frequent flyer miles and two give travel credits and vouchers.

Biden administration responds to mass flight delays and cancellations

The news of the administration's action come amid recent outrage over mass flight delays and cancellations impacting customers around the country, particularly at the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023.

Buttigieg has also warned of an increase in "serious close calls" due to airlines' scheduling practices, referring to near-collisions between departing and arriving planes on the runway.

Cover photo: MICHAEL CIAGLO / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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