US Wants Airlines To Compensate Passengers For Flight Delays & Cancellations

US Wants Airlines To Compensate Passengers For Flight Delays & Cancellations

The United States is working to make airlines legally compelled to offer compensation and cover expenses for passengers that are left stranded by flight disruptions controllable by the airlines themselves. 

At the moment, airlines are required to issue refunds to passengers if flights are cancelled or significantly delayed due to factors within an airline’s control, including staffing shortages and maintenance issues. With the new measure, airlines have to offer cash compensation and accommodation vouchers in addition to those refunds. It has not been specified how much cash it aims to require airlines to pay passengers for significant delays

The rules would also aim at defining what falls under a “controllable cancellation or delay” that is the fault of the carrier.

US President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced the incoming set of rules at a White House news conference on 08 May.

US Aviation Response

The move comes after a string of crippling airline delays and flight cancellations, causing immeasurable inconvenience to thousands of passengers. 

Airlines for America, a trade association representing Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines, and others, said US airlines “have no incentive to delay or cancel a flight and do everything in their control to ensure flights depart and arrive on time, but safety is always the top priority.”

The group also stated that more than half of cancellations in 2022 and 2023 were caused by “extreme weather” or air traffic control outages.

The current situation in the US around airline passenger compensation is far less generous than some other places around the world.

Unlike the US, the European Union and the United Kingdom require cash compensation to passengers in the event of delays or cancellations that are the fault of the carrier.

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