Serious issues with flights have been ongoing for over a year now. What was viewed as a problem that would likely be temporary has dragged on and on.
It’s gotten to the point of people being stranded in airports for 24 hours on end after missing connecting flights. Some travelers even claim they’ve missed out on weddings, graduations, and other special events they were supposed to attend.
Some lawmakers, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, have started proposing legislation that punishes airlines for excessive delays and cancellations. Others argue that airlines are intentionally leaving flight bookings open that they know they can’t fulfill.
Now, the US Department of Transportation is taking new steps amid ongoing issues with air travel, per The Hill.
New Steps From the Transportation Department
Days ago, the Department of Transportation confirmed that customers struggling with flight problems will have access to an online dashboard that helps them with resources and various forms of compensation.
This dashboard will be available by Labor Day weekend.
In making this announcement, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also had some choice words for airlines that are consistently having to delay and cancel flights en masse.
The Department of Transportation is issuing an ultimatum to airlines following the travel chaos this year. pic.twitter.com/HvfRuYlbOp
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 19, 2022
Per Buttigieg’s own words, airline CEOs now have the chance to make sure their Customer Service Plans are up to speed with meeting the needs of travelers.
The Transportation Secretary also stated what travelers have been going through with delays and cancellations of their flights is not acceptable.
Debates on the Role of Government
Last week’s announcements from Buttigieg aren’t the first time he’s spoken out about the issues with air travel that’ve been around since 2021.
However, despite Buttigieg’s role as the Transportation Secretary, there are still questions about what the federal government should realistically be expected to do to remedy this problem.
Some critics believe the federal government had a hand in current air travel issues by forcing COVID vaccine mandates on the country. Many air pilots and other critical workers left airlines due to these mandates, thus contributing to the problems Americans are facing.
We’re proceeding with rules and enforcement—and soon we’ll roll out a new tool to help passengers understand their rights and compare how different airlines will treat them when there is an issue. Airlines should take this opportunity to clarify and raise their standards.
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) August 19, 2022
Other folks think notwithstanding the Transportation Secretary’s strong remarks about the problems with air travel these days, the Department of Transportation’s hands are essentially tied.
Airlines maintain that they’re doing what they can. In some cases, this means having employees work overtime and reducing the number of cities being serviced.
However, in order to truly root out shortages in the long term, airlines are going to need a greater number of workers on the beat.
Thus far, travel demand continues to outweigh the resources of airlines, hence repeated delays and cancellations of flights.
Do you believe the Department of Transportation can really get to the bottom of air travel issues Americans have been stuck with over the past year? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments area.