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Buttigieg Defends Proposed Rules in Media Comments

U.S. Department of Transportation Building

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is posting for new air travel consumer protection rules, telling the media despite challenges, air carriers have a “responsibility” to care for flyers.
Less than a week after the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed new consumer protection rules for airlines, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is defending the decision to the media.


Reuters reports the transportation head is calling for the rules to become policy, while teasing for more proposed rules ahead.


Transportation Secretary Calls for Rule Modernization 

Buttigieg’s comments come after two consumer protection proposals were introduced in the nation’s capital. In addition to the Transportation Department’s notice of proposed rulemaking defining “significant changes” to commercial flights, a group of lawmakers introduced a bill which would require airlines to change their rules on flight refunds.


In Buttigieg’s comments to the media on Monday, August 8, 2022, the leader says the proposed new rules are overdue in today’s air travel environment.


“We’ve been due for a refresh on a lot of our rules toward airlines and when you get it right, the entire system is better off – certainly passengers are better off,” the Transportation Secretary said to Reuters. “(Airlines) have a responsibility to take good care of passengers and we have a responsibility to hold them accountable.”


However, the rule changes may not stop with flight delays and unscheduled changes. Buttigieg also said his agency plans to add a rule proposed 13 months prior, which would require airlines to offer ancillary fee refunds when things don’t work. The refunds would include baggage fees on delayed luggage, and in-flight wi-fi when it doesn’t work.


“We’re untying our own hands with the update on unfair and deceptive practices,” Buttigieg told Reuters.


Airlines Defer Blame to Governments, Air Traffic Control Issues

While federal-level officials are looking for their own solutions, the airlines say that both governments and air traffic control issues are to blame – allegations that Buttigieg denies. At the 2022 International Air Transport Association annual general meeting, the trade group outlined a host of hurdles government regulation is adding to recovery, while leadership at United Airlines blamed the Federal Aviation Administration for performance issues.


Feature image courtesy: kmf164/flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

mmv1115 August 25, 2022

Let me get this straight,...
I am to trust this guy after he made a deal with the DNC (or Biden) to get a cabinet positon with incoming administration to screw Bernie out of the last election?  Only one thing comes to mind when I see that name. Click off it.  Is he doing good things?  Is he not?  I don't want read a thing about that d*ck.  

BC Shelby August 10, 2022

...the airlines are beginning to sound more like a former person who was president by pointing fingers at everyone and everything else rather than themselves. They received 52$ billion in bailouts during the pandemic but still offered staff (including flight crews) to opt for early retirement as well as just cut workers loose. Also what happened to all the money saved from the tax breaks under that president's tenure?  Most likely, as was the case with other corporations, it went to stock buybacks instead of say, put aside for a "rainy day" given how sensitive the travel industry is to economic swings. 

I'm become a believer of deregulation being a mistake. It sounded great on paper but in practise it has led to what we have today and industry heading towards monopolisation that has become insensitive to the needs of its customers and unethically penalising and overcharging passengers while providing shoddy service.  Back in the regulated era, airlines prided themselves and competed on quality of service and schedule performance.  Today that has all but been thrown out the window and air travel has decayed to the point little more than an intercity bus with wings (actually Greyhound offers morel legroom than airline economy does which is on par with Delta's "Comfort Class" [an no luggage fees]). (ctd.)