Biden Wants Airlines to Pay Passengers for Delays. In Europe, they already do

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We’ve all been there: waiting at the airport for hours on end because of a delayed flight. It’s frustrating, time-consuming, and often leads to a lot of stress and anxiety. But what if airlines were forced to compensate passengers for delays? That’s exactly what President Joe Biden is proposing!

The Biden administration recently announced that they are considering requiring airlines to compensate passengers who experience lengthy delays or cancellations. The proposal would enlist the Department of Transportation to develop rules that airlines would have to follow when it comes to compensating passengers.

Currently, European airlines have to pay passengers up to €600 ($712) for a flight delay of more than three hours. This is part of a law passed by the European Union that enforces passenger rights and compensation in the event of flight delays, overbooking, and cancellations.

The idea behind this European law is to provide a level of protection and compensation for passengers who are affected by these disruptions. This is especially important for travelers who may have no other option but to fly on a particular day and time. They may face significant losses, such as missed connections, lost baggage, or even lost wages.

So why hasn’t the United States adopted these laws yet?

One of the reasons is that the airline industry in the US has historically been given a lot of freedom and has a lot of influence in Washington. Many of the major airlines have been hesitant to enshrine such protections in legislation. They argue that airline delays and cancellations are often caused by unforeseen circumstances, such as inclement weather or air traffic congestion, which are beyond their control.

However, others argue that airlines should be held accountable for frequent delays and cancellations that passengers experience. They maintain that there are many factors that airlines have complete control over, such as maintenance issues, staffing, and scheduling. Plus, the airlines often prioritize profitability over passenger comfort, leaving many flyers feeling disrespected and undervalued.

There are some existing rules in place to protect air travelers in the United States. For example, if a flight is delayed for a significant amount of time, the airline is legally required to provide passengers with food, water, and access to restrooms. If the flight is canceled, airlines are required to provide alternative transport, such as a different flight or a refund.

However, this proposal goes a step further by providing a monetary compensation to passengers who are affected by an extended delay. This can help to offset the cost of missed connections, lost luggage, or even hotel stays.

If this proposal is implemented, it will have a significant impact on the airline industry in the United States. The major airlines will have to allocate additional funds and resources to compensate passengers for delays and cancellations. Passengers will also be empowered to demand better customer service from airlines, which could lead to an overall improvement in the travel experience for everyone involved.

In conclusion, it’s essential for airlines to prioritize passenger rights and comfort. Air travel is often a stressful experience, and frequent delays and cancellations only add to that stress. While the proposal to enforce an airline compensation rule will not solve any problems overnight, it will help to ensure that airlines are held accountable when passengers are inconvenienced. It’s time for the United States to join the rest of the world and protect air travelers’ rights.