The White House Wants to Protect Air Travelers' Rights
The U.S. Department of Transportation revealed its plan to protect the rights of air travelers, releasing a list of airline transportation rules this week.
"When American families and workers travel—whether for a long-awaited vacation or to get to a last-minute meeting—they deserve to know exactly what they’re buying. And they deserve to get what they pay for—without hidden fees or last-minute complications," reads an excerpt from a Tuesday White House press release.
The new regulations aim to make the airline industry more transparent by in part increasing protection for disabled travelers, requiring refunds for delayed baggage, and closing loopholes that have allowed hidden fees.
One of the rules takes aim at “data cherry-picking,” which allows large carriers like Delta or American Airlines to exclude their regional operators from data concerning on-time arrivals and other customer metrics.
The new regulation will force these carriers to include the statistics from all flights they sell, not just all flights they operate. Delta, for instance, has already made an effort to ensure that the flights they sell run smoothly, even the ones operated by regional carriers such as Republic.
“To some degree, this is just going to codify certain things that are going on already, but definitely it’s going to put some additional pressure on these airlines to make the operation run as smoothly as possible,” Seth Kaplan, managing partner of Airline Weekly, told Travel + Leisure.