US Airlines Committed to Better Customer Service Over Labor Day Weekend

Alaska, American, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest and United are committing to provide better customer service, especially if they can’t get you to your destination on time.

This includes giving meals and hotel rooms to stranded passengers when airlines are to blame for substantial flight delays or cancellations.

Starting Thursday, a new US Department of Transportation (DOT) website will be available for travelers to learn about their legal rights if an airline cancels or drastically delays their flight.

They can also compare other airlines’ customer service practices.

As Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg explained in a interview with NPR last week, the move is in response to this summer’s air travel turmoil, which has included multiple flight delays and cancellations.

Since Memorial Day weekend, airlines have canceled more than 50,000 flights and delayed more than half a million, according to data from flight tracking website

According to the Transport Ministry, the main causes of flight delays and cancellations this year were not weather or air traffic control problems, but operational and scheduling problems for airlines.

The Transportation Secretary explained that certain actions taken by airlines are mandated by legislation or DOT standards, such as refunds for canceled flights.

“If you get canceled for any reason – you don’t catch your flight – they have to offer a cash refund. If you prefer to earn miles or a different flight, that’s fine. But that’s up to you, not them. They have to give you a refund. That’s a basic rule,” Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg also argued that when flights are considerably delayed or cancelled, airlines must make accommodations for passengers and pay for meals. Currently, some airlines do and others do not, but most are not fully transparent about their plans.

“Many airlines are not very transparent about how and when they are going to take care of passengers,” Buttigieg continued. “So we’re going to release that information ourselves” in the form of an online panel that Buttigieg says will clarify passengers’ rights. It will also allow travelers to compare airlines and see what additional services airlines have promised if flights are canceled or delayed due to airline issues.

The list of benefits includes “Rebook passenger on the same airline at no additional cost” and “Rebook passenger on another airline at no additional cost”, as well as meals, hotel accommodations and ground travel for delays of more than three hours or cancellations that ground passengers. during the night.

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