February 6, 2023

Democratic Senators Urge Department of Transportation to Increase Passengers’ Compensation For Delayed, Canceled Flights

Three Democratic senators are urgent the Department of Transportation to improve the compensation for passengers of canceled and delayed flights when on the fault of the airline.

On Wednesday, Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell of Washington, Edward Markey of Massachusetts, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut despatched a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg saying the airways ought to be accountable for passengers’ “secondary costs” after they cancel or “significantly” delay a flight.

“The refunds rule should require airlines to cover secondary costs – such as hotel rooms, food, and drink, and transportation to-and-from the airport – when an airline, due to a problem within its control, cancels or significantly delays a flight,” they continued.

Airways have already dished out over $600 million in refunds to those that skilled flight delays or canceled flights for the reason that begin of the pandemic, CNN reported.

However federal regulators declare some airways have in some way gone across the guidelines, which has led the division to concern $7.25 million in fines in opposition to six airways for “extreme delays in providing those refunds to passengers,” Buttigieg confirmed this month.

The trio of senators additionally urged the division to strengthen and broaden on its proposed rule when it comes to ticket refunds for fliers by mentioning information from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics that present home airways have canceled practically 3% of flights and delayed 21% of flights by August of this 12 months.

“This rulemaking is a critical response to the increase in flight cancellations and delays during the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in a record number of consumer complaints about the refund process,” wrote the senators.

Katherine Estep, a spokesperson for Airways for America, mentioned that their members “fully comply with all federal laws and regulations regarding cash refunds.” She added that within the first 9 months of 2022, US passenger airways “issued $8.3 billion in cash refunds, more than all of the refunds issued in 2021.”