August 22, 2022

This New Interactive Website Will Show Cancellation and Delay Policies for U.S. Airlines

The Department of Transportation will be rolling out the new site before Labor Day.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will launch a website in the coming weeks that details airline policies on cancellations or delays, the department's latest effort to arm passengers with information amid widespread summer travel chaos.

The website will include an "easy-to-read" interactive dashboard with information on each airline as well as travelers' options when there is a cancellation or delay that was "due to circumstances within the airline's control," DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg wrote in a letter to airlines that was shared with Travel + Leisure. The new dashboard is expected to go live on the Department's Aviation Consumer Protection website by Sept. 2, ahead of the Labor Day holiday weekend.

The information in the dashboard will come from commitments airlines have already made in their customer service plans.

"When passengers do experience cancelations and delays, they deserve clear and transparent information on the services that your airline will provide, to address the expenses and inconveniences resulting from these disruptions," Buttigieg wrote, adding the "level of disruption Americans have experienced this summer is unacceptable."

The DOT has requested "at a minimum" airlines provide meal vouchers for travelers who experience a delay of three hours or more as well as lodging for travelers who are forced to wait overnight at an airport "because of disruptions within the carrier's control."

Airlines across the United States and the world have experienced widespread problems over the summer, which have generally been blamed on a combination of staffing shortages and air traffic control issues. In total, more than 100,000 flights have been canceled in the U.S. so far this year and nearly a million flights delayed. According to the DOT, U.S. airlines have delayed about 24% of domestic flights and canceled about 3.2% of them in the first six months of the year.

Several airlines cut back on summer schedules in an effort to keep up, but some have extended those efforts into the fall, including American Airlines and United Airlines.

In addition to educating travelers on their rights, the DOT has proposed a rule change that would require airlines to issue a refund if a domestic flight is delayed by more than three hours.

"I urge you to take this opportunity to assess your Customer Service Plan to ensure that it guarantees adequate amenities and services to help passengers with expenses and inconveniences due to delays and cancelations," Buttigieg wrote in the letter.

Copyright 2022 Travel + Leisure Co. All rights reserved. From https://travelandleisure.com. By Alison Fox.

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