Oct 21, 2022 - Economy

Major airlines oppose U.S. push for flight delay compensation

A United Airlines plane lands at San Francisco International Airport.

A United Airlines plane lands at San Francisco International Airport. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Some of the biggest airlines in the U.S. are opposing the Department of Transportation's plans to show travelers which carriers will voluntarily compensate passengers for delays, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The DOT is looking to secure more assistance for travelers facing tremendous delays and cancellations, but not all airlines aren't on board.

DOT calls for airline vouchers, compensation

Details: The DOT proposed new protections for travelers this past summer, including calling on airlines to provide vouchers and compensation for travelers who see their flights canceled or delayed, Axios previously reported.

  • The transportation department reportedly asked major airlines if they'd commit to giving $100 and frequent flyer miles or airline travel vouchers for delays of three hours or more, according to Reuters.
  • The DOT plans to post the results of these emails on a government dashboard website, which is set to release next month, per Reuters.
  • This would help passengers see which airlines plan to offer vouchers.

Airlines oppose DOT voucher plan

What they're saying: Airlines for America — a trade group that represents United, American, Delta and Southwest — told Axios in an emailed statement that the DOT's request would "raise the cost of travel for everyone" and it "goes beyond the scope and intent of the dashboard by proposing punitive measures rather than offering improvements to transparency that would benefit the consumer."

  • The DOT "does not acknowledge the significant progress that the industry has made" or "the impacts of weather and air traffic control staffing in ensuring seamless operations," Airlines for America said in a statement.
  • Still, the A4A said it wants to work with the government "to improve operational reliability and the customer experience."

A Department of Transportation spokesperson told Axios that the dashboard will give travelers "greater transparency and better customer service plans that guarantee them more services."

  • "We’ll continue to have the traveling public’s back and work to increase transparency so Americans know exactly what the airlines are providing when they have a cancellation or delay," the spokesperson told Axios.

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