President Biden held a press conference on May 8, 2023 regarding a proposed new regulation for how airlines should handle compensation for flight delays and cancellations.
Also present at the press conference was Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who in a statement released this morning suggested that passengers should not “foot the bill” in the event of a flight cancellation or delay.
The “historic new rule” is expected to be proposed by the US Department of Transportation through a rulemaking process. It would require all US airlines to compensate travellers with meals, hotels, taxis, rebooking fees, and even cash, miles and/or travel vouchers if the airline is to blame for the cancellation or delay.
Another proposed change would provide for free family seating, meaning that airlines will not be able to charge extra to families wishing to sit next to each other on flights.
According to Secretary Buttigieg’s statement, the proposed new regulation would also seek to force airlines to provide better customer service during and after periods of “widespread flight irregularities”. This proposed new regulation follows last year’s chaotic holiday season, in which thousands of flights were cancelled in one day alone, and the timing of this announcement is likely an attempt to get ahead of the chaotic summer travel season.
The Biden administration has framed this latest proposed rule as part of a larger effort to improve air travel as it returns to pre-pandemic levels. Previous changes introduced include a rule proposed by the Department of Transportation last Fall which would require airlines to show the full ticket price upfront (including baggage), as well as a website that provides guidance to passengers on compensation from airlines for cancellations or delays.
Established in 1999 and based in Washington, DC, TWG has a lengthy record of providing technical assistance to civil aviation authorities (“CAAs”) worldwide, including but not limited to the CAAs of India, Panama, Cabo Verde, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Trinidad and Tobago. In all, ten FAA Category 1 ratings have been issued to TWG IASA technical assistance clients to date – a 100% track record. TWG also regularly assists foreign air carriers with obtaining the US government approvals needed for US air carrier operations and foreign repair stations with securing FAA certification required to maintain US-registered aircraft.