The Biden administration is prepping regulations that will seek to address benefits that consumers receive when dealing with widespread flight delays and cancellations, after travel mishaps over the holidays last year wreaked havoc on airline customers.
The White House and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will announce Monday a rulemaking process that will examine the possibility of slapping a number of requirements on airlines in the event of controllable airline cancellation and delays, according to a White House official.
Among the possible requirements would be compensation in addition to refunds and other amenities to consumers, food or meal vouchers, overnight accommodations, transportation to a hotel and timely customer service.
The regulations will also include an enhanced dashboard on FlightRights.gov that shows which specific amenities that each airline provides.
The move from the Biden administration to explore the new requirements on airlines comes after the airline industry and the federal government faced significant backlash for mass flight delays and cancellations that stranded passengers during the holiday season last year.
The holiday disruptions included over 3,000 flights that were canceled in one day in late December, including over 2,600 from Southwest Airlines alone. Airlines were criticized by travelers for the lack of accommodations offered while they dealt with the delays and cancellations.
The troubles in the travel industry have also come at a political loss for Buttigieg, who has faced the brunt of the criticism. The former Indiana mayor became a favorite target of Republican ire over the flight cancellations and a string of train derailments that made national headlines, even facing calls to resign.
The possible regulations announced on Monday are part of a broader push by the Biden administration to regulate the flight industry, including rules that seek to improve pricing transparency.
Source: The Hill