US President Joe Biden announced that his administration is planning new regulations that would require US airlines to compensate passengers when flight times change drastically due to problems within the airlines control.
In his announcement, Biden explained that the regulations will force airlines to compensate travelers when the air carriers are to blame for significant delays or cancellations, such as those caused by mechanical problems and crew issues. Issued due to outside factors like bad weather or air-traffic control are generally considered beyond airlines control and are not covered by the new regulations, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The new regulations requires airlines to provide compensation in addition to refunds, similar to passenger-protection measures required in the European Union, when flights are canceled or passengers endure significant delays due to airline-caused disruption. It would also require airlines to cover expenses such as overnight hotel accommodations and transportation during such significant flight disruptions.
Industry trade group Airlines for America said airlines are working to improve reliability, but factors beyond their control, such as extreme weather and air-traffic control issues, have contributed to flight disruptions.
US Airlines are under increasing scrutiny for operational problems following the COVID-19 pandemic. Airline companies received billions of dollars of government aid to avoid layoffs during the pandemic, and US lawmakers and regulators have expressed frustration at their rocky recovery and operational issues.
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