President Biden Announces New Rule for Canceled and Delayed Flights
Photo by Skyler Smith on Unsplash
After countless flight delays and cancellations, American travelers have gone to the government and cried that enough is enough. Regardless of the reasons for a flight’s cancellation, from extreme weather to under-staffing, a stranded passenger is stuck trying to figure out their situation.
In the past, airlines would compensate flyers with airfare, but this never really covered the true costs of an overnight cancellation. Travelers would still have to pay for lodging, food, and a ride to-and-from the airport.
President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg have announced that they plan to put that situation to an end. According to President Biden, a new program will force airlines to compensate their customers with meals, hotels, and even rideshare fees if they are left stranded and if it is the airline’s fault.
The new plan follows another initiative where President Biden has claimed he plans to target and eliminate “junk fees”, indicating the Administration has no grand economic relief plan but intends to make life easier on the margins for American consumers.
What Is the Plan?
This new plan is comprised of two parts.
1. The administration will create a website that informs customers about every airline and what form of compensation that carrier offers in the case of delays and cancellations. This includes vouchers and frequent flyer points.
2. Coming later in 2023, the Biden administration will enact a rule forcing airlines to compensate travelers for meals, taxis, Ubers, hotels, motels, or other essentials.
This added compensation must come from somewhere, however. This rule may result in a rise in ticket prices or other airline fees to make up the difference.
The Message from President Biden
Biden expressed understanding for the frustration of passengers and promised to give Americans “a better deal”.
Biden commented, "Historically, when delays and cancellations are the airline's fault, the law has only required airlines to refund customers the price of their flight ticket, but not the cost of meals or hotels or transportation when you get left in limbo”, but he plans to change this later in the year.