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US Authorities issue ultimatum to airlines to provide help for stranded, delayed passengers

The U.S. Department of Transportation will take stern actions if the airlines do not improve their customer service in the future. They are going to focus on ensuring that passengers can have a smoo

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If airlines don’t improve their customer service, the U.S. Department of Transportation will take harsh action, including potentially changing the rules.

The Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, recently stated in an interview that delays in transportation were not acceptable.

The airlines should make it simpler for customers to know their legal protections, as this is a message to them. And when flights are canceled or delayed, you need to be there for the passengers,” he said.

He pleaded with airlines to help those whose flights were disrupted. In the event of a delay of three hours or more, he also requested that they supply vouchers for meals.

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When delays are the responsibility of the airline, he said, passengers should be provided with overnight accommodations.

Buttigieg has claimed that nearly 24 percent of domestic flights operated by U.S. airlines experienced delays and 3.2 percent were cancelled in the first half of the year. Increases in the number of airline passenger complaints received by the Department of Transportation have been observed this year.

Whenever they are at fault, airlines in the United States will compensate passengers with free meals and hotel stays in the event of a flight cancellation or delay. But the new standards may force them to comply.

Officials from the airlines claim they have cut back on flights in order to provide better service. They have also increased hiring after finding that a lack of air traffic controllers regularly disrupts flights.

Sixty-three percent of cancellations in the first five months of 2022 were attributed to weather or national airspace issues, according to data cited by an airline trade group.

Image via flickr user Daniel Ramirez