WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – President Joe Biden said new rules will be formally introduced later in 2023 to require airlines to compensate passengers for more than just ticket prices if cancelations and significant delays are the airline’s fault.
The Biden administration wants to implement new rules for airlines which the president said “will make it mandatory — not voluntary, mandatory — for all U.S. airlines to compensate you with meals hotels, taxis, ride shares.”
The rules will also reimburse consumers for rebooking fees and ticket costs if the airline is at fault for flight cancelations or significant flight delays, not including flight changes due to weather.
President Biden says those are compensations that airline passengers in Europe and Canada are already guaranteed.
“And guess what? It works. One study found that the European Union required airlines to compensate passengers for flight delays — the number of flight delays went down,” Biden said.
President Biden also announced the website flightrights.gov is now better able to help impacted airline passengers track the reimbursements they’re entitled to.
“But here’s the deal, if you look at the dashboard today, you’ll find that only two airlines guarantee additional compensation beyond the ticket refund,” Biden said.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg says the government did its part to keep the airline industry going during the pandemic and is taking other steps to help flights stay on schedule.
“Across the country, we’re hiring more air traffic controllers to keep up with growing demand,” Buttigieg said.
The Biden administration says now it’s time for the airlines to do their part.