Reuters reports the transportation head is calling for the rules to become policy, while teasing for more proposed rules ahead.
Transportation Secretary Calls for Rule Modernization
Buttigieg’s comments come after two consumer protection proposals were introduced in the nation’s capital. In addition to the Transportation Department’s notice of proposed rulemaking defining “significant changes” to commercial flights, a group of lawmakers introduced a bill which would require airlines to change their rules on flight refunds.
In Buttigieg’s comments to the media on Monday, August 8, 2022, the leader says the proposed new rules are overdue in today’s air travel environment.
“We’ve been due for a refresh on a lot of our rules toward airlines and when you get it right, the entire system is better off – certainly passengers are better off,” the Transportation Secretary said to Reuters. “(Airlines) have a responsibility to take good care of passengers and we have a responsibility to hold them accountable.”
However, the rule changes may not stop with flight delays and unscheduled changes. Buttigieg also said his agency plans to add a rule proposed 13 months prior, which would require airlines to offer ancillary fee refunds when things don’t work. The refunds would include baggage fees on delayed luggage, and in-flight wi-fi when it doesn’t work.
“We’re untying our own hands with the update on unfair and deceptive practices,” Buttigieg told Reuters.
Airlines Defer Blame to Governments, Air Traffic Control Issues
While federal-level officials are looking for their own solutions, the airlines say that both governments and air traffic control issues are to blame – allegations that Buttigieg denies. At the 2022 International Air Transport Association annual general meeting, the trade group outlined a host of hurdles government regulation is adding to recovery, while leadership at United Airlines blamed the Federal Aviation Administration for performance issues.
Feature image courtesy: kmf164/flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
Source: frugal travel guy