TAMPA, Fla. - After a chaotic summer travel season, the U.S. Department of Transportation is cracking down, forcing airlines to be more transparent when it comes to what they owe passengers if they cancel or delay a flight. In the coming days, all that information will be posted on the department’s website so travelers can know what to expect.
While this summer travel season may have been inconsistent, the headaches continue for passengers as on Monday alone 1,500 flights into and out of the U.S. were canceled with another 8,500 delayed according to FlightAware.com.
Delays and cancellations often leave passengers scrambling, trying to figure out what to do. With policies as to what reimbursement or accommodation passengers are owed differing by airlines, it can be confusing.
That’s why the Department of Transportation has created an online dashboard of airline policies listing out what each airline promises if something goes wrong.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has asked airlines at minimum to provide passengers with meal vouchers for delays of three hours or more and lodging for those who have to wait overnight due to a cancellation or delay.
However, many airlines have specified their policies even further. Southwest has said that if meal vouchers are not available, they would reimburse passengers for food.
Screenshot from the U.S. Department of Transportation's 'Airline Customer Service Dashboard'
JetBlue said they would provide $12 meal vouchers for delayed passengers.
United Airlines has said they will give out reasonable meal vouchers for food vendors at the airport.
Some airlines also said that if they are unable to find a passenger a hotel room following a cancelation, they would reimburse passengers for accommodations found on their own and also for transportation.
You can find a link here: www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/airline-customer-service-dashboard.