Airlines may be forced to pay for delays and cancellations

Airline travel has been pretty miserable lately. Several factors, including staff shortages, inflation, and high fuel prices, have contributed to the heat of less than ideal airline experiences in the summer, particularly affecting holiday weekends. above 88,000 flights canceled More than 12,000 flights were canceled between January and May, and over the fourth weekend of July alone.

But airlines may soon be forced to pay when flights are canceled or significantly delayed. This week, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced a new proposal designed to protect consumer rights by expanding airline ticket refunds.

offerWhich was posted by the Department of Transportation (DOT) on Wednesday, comes at a time when post-pandemic travel is booming, and customers are being met with a barrage of delays and cancellations – but few refunds. .

If approved, the proposal would require airlines to refund passengers for canceled flights, delayed departure times of more than three hours for domestic flights (six hours for international flights), or for flight journeys. For significant changes in the program. This includes if a flight switches airports or adds stops to its schedule.

It would also include protection for travelers who may have to change their travel plans because of “a serious communicable disease”, such as COVID-19 or monkeypox, which the administration public health emergency declared earlier today. The DOT proposes that airlines provide non-expiration vouchers to any customers affected by public health emergencies or stay at home orders – although airlines receiving government funding will only be required to offer refunds.

“If enacted, it would be the biggest expansion of travelers’ rights in decades,” said Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights. wrote in a Twitter thread, ,[The proposal] That would have saved so many people so much anger in the last 2.5 years. ,

The proposal has not been finalized yet. It is under a period of public consideration for 90 days and can still be changed or withdrawn.

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