US carriers are not happy with the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) latest efforts to show travelers which airlines will compensate passengers in the face of delays and cancelations.
The DOT reportedly emailed major airlines to see if they would be willing to give travel vouchers, frequent flyer miles, or compensation of up to $100 in the event of a three-hour or longer delay. Carriers were also urged to book passengers on non-partner airlines and compensate them for canceled flights that caused at least a three-hour delay.
In an effort to provide transparency to travelers, the DOT plans to use these email responses to update the new Airline Customer Service Dashboard next month, showing which carriers will voluntarily compensate passengers for lengthy delays within an airline’s control.
Airlines for America — a group representing the nation’s largest carriers, including American, United, Delta, and Southwest — says the dashboard update “threatens to cause unnecessary, additional confusion for the traveling public regarding the range of reasons and causes for delays, which include weather and air traffic control staffing.”
There is no legal requirement for airlines to compensate US passengers for delayed flights but DOT is contemplating new rules to expand passenger rights.
Now, I don’t want to pick sides, but anyone who’s ever tried to get more than a shoulder shrug and a $9.97 meal voucher for Chili’s To Go from an airline after a canceled flight will find it hard to see both sides here.