The Department of Transportation's Guide to U.S. Airline Cancellation, Delay Policies Is Now Live — Take a Look

The dashboard details how each U.S. airline handles cancellations and delays — and what passengers are entitled to.

A Spirit airlines flight is shown as cancelled on the flight information board at Miami International Airport

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Department of Transportation's website providing travelers with easily accessible info when it comes to their airlines cancellation policy is now live.

The interactive site, known as the Aviation Consumer Protection website, which was shared with Travel + Leisure ahead of the launch, includes flight status info for the 10 major airlines in the United States. The dashboard displays a green checkmark or a red “X” next to each airline’s policy concerning rebooking, hotel accommodations, and more.

According to the dashboard, nine out of 10 major U.S. airlines will commit to rebooking a passenger for free if a flight is canceled due to something within the airline’s control — a number senior administration officials told T+L wasn’t nearly as high before the DOT announced its efforts to create the new dashboard, calling the change “a big win for consumers.” Of those, five will now rebook travelers on another airline for free if they cannot accommodate them, and eight will offer free hotel accommodations if the new flight requires passengers to stay overnight.

“Passengers deserve transparency and clarity on what to expect from an airline when there is a cancelation or disruption,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement shared with T+L. “This dashboard collects that information in one place so travelers can easily understand their rights, compare airline practices, and make informed decisions. The Department will continue to support passengers and to hold airlines responsible for adhering to their customer obligations.”

The website also details airline policies on meal vouchers and ground transportation options for both controllable cancellations and significant delays that are caused by the airline due to anything from maintenance and crew problems to baggage loading issues, and more.

“[It’s a] high priority for the Biden administration to make sure we have the consumer’s back,” a senior administration official also shared with T+L. “We're working on rule-making, on enforcement actions, on helping consumers get the refunds they deserve, and look forward to continuing this effort throughout the rest of the summer holiday season and on into next year.”

The DOT first announced plans to launch the new website following weeks of widespread chaos that has seen more than 100,000 flights canceled in the U.S. so far this year and nearly a million flights delayed. Several airlines have even cut back on their fall schedules in an effort to minimize disruptions, including American Airlines and United Airlines.

The new dashboard represents the DOT’s latest effort to crack down on airlines. It comes just weeks after the DOT proposed a rule change that would require airlines to issue a refund if a domestic flight is delayed by more than three hours. The department has also called on U.S. airlines to stop charging families to sit together on a flight.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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