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US releases new regulations to compensate air passengers for delays, flight cancellations

United States President Joe Biden Photo: Gulf Times

*United States President Joe Biden explains the fresh consumer-oriented regulations will force airlines to compensate travellers when the air carriers are to blame for significant delays or cancellations, especially resulting from mechanical problems and crew issues

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

As a fresh measure for consumer protection in the country’s aviation industry, United States President Joe Biden has announced his administration’s  plan for new regulations that would require US airlines to compensate passengers when flight times change drastically due to problems within the airlines control.

ConsumerConnect gathered President Biden in his announcement, explained that the fresh consumer-oriented regulations would force airlines to compensate travellers when the air carriers are to blame for significant delays or cancellations, such as those caused by mechanical problems and crew issues.

Whereas issues due to outside factors such as bad weather or air-traffic control are generally considered beyond airlines’ control, and are not covered by the new regulations, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The new regulations requires airlines to provide compensation in addition to refunds, similar to passenger-protection measures required in the European Union (EU), when flights are cancelled or passengers endure significant delays due to airline-caused disruption, report said.

The new regulatory guidelines would also require airlines to cover expenses, such as overnight hotel accommodations and transportation during such significant flight disruptions.

It was learnt that industry trade group, Airlines for America, said airlines are working to improve reliability, but factors beyond their control, such as extreme weather and air-traffic control issues, have contributed to flight disruptions.

US Airlines are under increasing scrutiny for operational problems following the COVID-19 pandemic, according to report.

Airline companies received billions of Dollars of government aid to avoid layoffs during the pandemic, and US lawmakers and regulators have expressed frustration at their rocky recovery and operational issues.

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