New online dashboard to help flyers on delays, cancellations

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid months of mass flight cancellations and delays, the Division of Transportation has launched a customer support dashboard to assist vacationers forward of the travel-heavy Labor Day weekend.

Beginning Thursday, vacationers will have the ability to test the dashboard and see what sorts of ensures, refunds or compensation the foremost home airways provide in case of flight delays or cancellations. It’s designed to permit vacationers to buy round and favor these airways that provide the very best compensation.

You are reading: New online dashboard to help flyers on delays, cancellations

The dashboard is a part of an prolonged strain marketing campaign from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has publicly challenged the foremost carriers to enhance service and transparency after a summer season marred by cancellations and flight delays. As summer season journey returned to just about pre-coronavirus pandemic ranges, airways struggled to maintain tempo, with mass cancellations being blamed on staffing shortages, significantly amongst pilots.

“Passengers deserve transparency and readability on what to anticipate from an airline when there’s a cancelation or disruption,” Buttigieg mentioned in an announcement Wednesday. The brand new instrument, he mentioned, will assist vacationers to “simply perceive their rights, examine airline practices, and make knowledgeable selections.”

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The dashboard compares all the foremost home airways’ insurance policies on points resembling which supply meals for delays of greater than three hours and which supply to rebook flights on the identical or completely different airways at no extra cost. It focuses on what it calls “controllable” cancellations or delays — that means these attributable to mechanical points, staffing shortages or delays in cleansing, fueling or baggage dealing with. Delays or cancellations attributable to climate or safety issues don’t depend.

The Division of Transportation is hoping that the dashboard will encourage competitors amongst airways to supply essentially the most transparency and the very best protections for patrons.

Up to now this yr, airways have canceled about 146,000 flights, or 2.6% of all flights, and almost 1.3 million flights have been delayed, in keeping with monitoring service FlightAware. The speed of cancellations is up about one-third from the identical interval in 2019, earlier than the pandemic, and the speed of delays is up almost one-fourth.

Federal officers have blamed lots of the disruptions on understaffing at airways, which inspired workers to give up after the pandemic began. The airways have countered by blaming staffing issues at the Federal Aviation Administration, which employs air site visitors controllers.

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Related Press author David Koenig in Dallas contributed to this report.

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