Transportation Department Encourages More Military Travel Benefits


In an open letter to U.S.-based carriers, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is asking airlines to provide clear and consistent benefits detailed in public-facing customer service plans.


Enhanced Benefits Request Ahead of “Support Our Troops” Dashboard

In his request to airlines, Buttigieg referenced his own service as a U.S. Navy Reserve officer, and his experience with the military benefits provided by airlines. However, he also noted that they are not necessarily communicated effectively to service members.


Most airlines offer early boarding and free baggage allowances for traveling service members, but Buttigieg says more is necessary. And while most airlines cut cancellation fees, the secretary is asking for full refunds when military orders get in the way of planned travel.


“The Department appreciates that carriers currently provide active-duty service members and their families various military travel benefits,” Buttigieg writes in the letter. “However, these benefits are not consistently detailed in carriers’ public-facing Customer Service Plans, resulting in many service members being unaware of them. Also, airlines’ travel benefits often do not fully address the needs of service members who may need to cancel or change personal travel plans due to military directives.”


The request comes as the Transportation Department is rolling out a “Support Our Troops” dashboard on their website. Following the Airline Customer Service Dashboard, the new page will give military members and their families a single source with “easy-to-read, comparative information on the travel benefits that each of the large U.S. marketing carriers will guarantee for service members and their families.”


The letter was sent to all 10 major U.S. marketing carriers. As the letter is a request, it’s unclear if any policy changes will come from Buttigieg’s letter.


Feature image courtesy: kmf164/flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Source: frugal travel guy

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