The United States Department of Transportation’s (DOT) proposed plan to update its airline customer service dashboard is facing opposition from major US carriers. The dashboard, which was rolled out last month, showcases new customer service commitments made by airlines after a slew of delays and cancelations this year.

In its recent effort to decrease the number of flight issues and hold airlines accountable, the DOT is pushing carriers into providing additional incentives to impacted passengers.

The bureau has reportedly asked in emails to major airlines whether they would voluntarily provide travel vouchers, additional frequent flyer miles, or compensation up to $100 if the airline is liable for a delay that is three hours or longer. Carriers have also been urged to book passengers on non-partner airlines and provide compensation for a canceled flight that resulted in at least a three-hour delay.

Passengers queue at Cancun International Airport (CUN) in Cancun, Quintana Roo state, Mexico, on July 2, 2022.

Photo: Getty Images.

Airline pushback

The DOT plans to update its customer service dashboard once it receives answers. Airlines have until Monday to respond, but Airlines for America, a trade association representing seven impacted carriers, has not wasted time in expressing opposition. In a statement to Simple Flying, the association said,

“We support practical solutions that will actually improve the customer experience and strengthen operations across the National Airspace System – this latest request by the Department of Transportation is not one of those.”

Airlines for America also claimed that the bureau’s request would raise the cost of travel and is unnecessary because it proposes punitive measures rather than offering improvements to transparency that would benefit travelers.

The trade group also noted that the bureau has threatened to cause confusion for consumers.

Holding carriers accountable

The DOT accused airlines of unsatisfactory efforts to support passengers in the event of a delay or cancelation.

“When these disruptions occur, airlines are required to support passengers based on commitments made in their customer service plans, but too often passengers find those plans are difficult to understand and do not guarantee services,” the bureau said.

Boeing 757 landing at sunset with a row of airliner tails parked behind.

Photo: Getty Images

Airlines for America criticized the DOT for failing to address the factors that play into flight disruptions and the changes that carriers have already made.

“The Department’s approach toward airlines does not acknowledge the significant progress that the industry has made, nor does it acknowledge the impacts of weather and air traffic control staffing in ensuring seamless operations. We look forward to working collaboratively with the federal government on solutions to improve operational reliability and the customer experience.”

Policy transparency

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that passengers deserve transparency and clarity on what to expect when there is a flight issue and that the dashboard will ensure accountability moving forward.

In August, Secretary Buttigieg sent a letter to airline CEO’s that informed them of the dashboard’s initial release. The DOT said that letter prompted most carriers to reevaluate their customer service plans.

“As a result, all but one of the ten largest U.S. airlines made significant changes to their plans to improve services provided to passengers when their flights are canceled or delayed because of an airline issue,” the bureau added.

Last month, Airlines for America said the industry saw a 0.7 percent cancelation rate as carriers continue to hire additional staff and reduce schedules. The cancelation rate excludes impacts from Hurricane Ian.

Source: Reuters


Napsat komentář

Vaše e-mailová adresa nebude zveřejněna.

You May Also Like

Airbus Helicopters Posts Strong Medevac Order Intake

Airbus Helicopters announced continuing strong sales into the U.S. medical market at…

The Complex Art of Aircraft Utilization

DALLAS – Aircraft are the most important and valuable assets of an…

Quiz: 6 Questions To See How Well You Know Aircraft Systems

How’s your systems knowledge? 1) You’re performing an engine run-up before takeoff.…

Why Don’t Planes Use Reverse Thrust To Push Back?

When a plane departs an airport, its first movement will be to…