Tuesday, October 3, 2023
HomeUncategorizedPete Buttigieg says airlines need to make air travel better

Pete Buttigieg says airlines need to make air travel better

It’s not just your imagination. Flying has really gotten worse this year. In addition to lost luggage and unruly customers, flight cancellations and delays are becoming more frequent.

Reasons for cancellations include pilot shortages, storms and other natural events exacerbated by climate change. But the end result is that people are taking longer and longer to get anywhere.

This is just an exaggeration, mind you. In the first six months of this year, 3.2 percent of U.S. flights were canceled and 24 percent were delayed, according to information released by the Department of Transportation. As FlightAware notes, “That’s higher than the 2.1% cancellation rate and 17.2% delay rate for the same period in 2019.”

No one was happy about it. But you know who’s particularly upset about it? Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg sent a strongly worded letter to nine major airlines, telling them to pull together. The former Mayor of Pete also thinks these airlines owe us a dinner to sort out our troubles.

Mayor Pete tells airlines to act together

As noted by PhocusWire, Buttigieg politely told airlines to do better, saying delays are a no-go accepted. “These are not just numbers,” Buttigieg said in the letter. “These are missed birthdays, parties, graduations, time with loved ones, and important meetings.”

One of Buttigieg’s demands is for the airline to offer any passenger who has to wait more than three hours meal vouchers, and travelers stranded overnight should receive free accommodation.

“I urge you to take this opportunity to evaluate your customer service plan to ensure it guarantees adequate service and amenities to help travelers pay for their expenses,” Buttigieg wrote.

At the airport due to a disruption within the carrier’s control.”

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Some airlines already have a policy of issuing hotel coupons, but if the flight is canceled it is out of their control.


CURRENTLY NO Federal law requires airlines to provide food or lodging for inconvenient travelers.

While that may or may not change in the future, Secretary Buttigieg has another plan. On September 2, the Department of Transportation will launch a feature on its website that will allow travelers to compare the amenities airlines offer customers during delays and cancellations.

Will the fear and embarrassment of looking cheap and inattentive for stranded customers, especially when compared to competitors, make the airline feel ashamed and have to cough up some vouchers ? We’ll find out soon.

This is just the latest blow in Secretary Buttigieg’s ongoing campaign of pressure on the airline industry. Earlier this summer, he announced a proposal that would guarantee refunds for cancelled flights or flights delayed by more than three hours if customers opted not to take a later flight.

There is currently no unified, industry-wide cancellation policy, and the vouchers given by many airlines expire within one year, which is very inconvenient for many customers.

The proposal would require airlines to issue vouchers, with no expiry date, when passengers “are unable to fly for some pandemic-related reasons, such as government-mandated travel bans, border closures, or advising passengers Do not travel to protect their health or the health of other passengers.”

But if airlines or ticketing agencies receive government assistance related to the outbreak, they will be required to issue cash refunds instead of vouchers .



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