President Joe Biden has shown the American people a lot about the policies he holds closest to his heart and how little he truly cares about the average citizen. One of his favorite past times has been to generate ideas that make things more expensive for the average American—this time he has set his sights on the airline industry, which is already in grave turmoil.
Announced on May 8th with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, the new rules would force airlines to compensate passengers for more than just the ticket cost when the carrier is responsible for flight disruptions. For those stranded, this would mean hotels and food would need to be covered, and it would be the first such measure in the US.
Announced just weeks after he declared his intentions to run in 2024, and as the start of the summer travel season kicks off, the slogan of “hold airlines accountable” was behind the speakers. Buttigieg claims the legislation would ensure airlines don’t make the consumer foot the bill when they make mistakes.
“This rule would, for the first time in US history, propose to require airlines to compensate passengers and cover expenses such as meals, hotels, and rebooking in cases where the airline has caused a cancellation or significant delay.” The new rules would also provide unprecedented clarification as to what a “controllable cancelation or delay” really is. Per the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics, things like maintenance, crew staffing, aircraft cleaning, baggage, and fueling are part of these airline-controlled delays.
Yet, as Airlines for America, who represent the biggest airlines in the US, pointed out, these companies “have no incentive to delay or cancel a flight and do everything in their control to ensure flights depart and arrive on time, but safety is always the top priority.”
Should Biden and Buttigieg get their way, you can guarantee two things: your frequent flier miles will suddenly be worth even less than they are worth now, and you will be paying even more for that flight. Maybe not on the ticket or even the baggage. However, somewhere along the way, the consumer will be paying more.