The U.S. Department of Transportation is rolling out a new dashboard for travelers to see what they are entitled to from airlines in the case of cancellations or delays ahead of the Labor Day travel weekend.
The site, which launched Thursday, shows passengers what each airline offers during extended delays and cancellations. The DOT said travelers can easily see if they’re entitled to meals, a hotel, or even a full refund, among other options.
This comes ahead of the busy expected Labor Day travel weekend. The Federal Aviation Administration estimates that Thursday will be the busiest of the weekend, with 47,000 estimated flights scheduled.
The information tool will show customers “in black-and-white” what they are entitled to, DOT Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg told ABC News.
“We’re very excited to roll out what we think is a very user-friendly, one-stop-shop dashboard that will show you, for the 10 largest airlines, what the policies they have if a flight is canceled or delayed due to something within the airline’s control in terms of refunds, rebooking, potentially meals or hotel stays,” Trottenberg said.
Trottenberg said a lot of these used to be discretionary policies for airlines depending on circumstance, but airlines have now made them official policies. As a result, travelers are now guaranteed these, and DOT can enforce them.
“Now, eight of the 10 airlines have really upped their game and committed to that as part of their customer service plans,” Trottenberg said. “That means, again, it is a consumer entitlement and we will be able to, in the case of an airline not living up to the word, able to enforce.”
Trottenberg said recent data showed a downward trend in cancellations and delays and is confident the continued improvements to airline schedules and other aviation operations could “bear good results” for the holiday weekend. Trottenberg touted the cancellation rate of flights has dropped from about 4% in early summer to closer to 2% now.
However, the agency still faces criticism. Thirty-eight attorneys general sent a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday over concerns that the DOT is “unable or unwilling” to address customer complaints.
The informational tool for travelers comes a few weeks after Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg sent a letter to airlines calling the flight disruptions “unacceptable” and encouraged airlines to clean up their act when it came to providing redress to consumers.
Trottenberg said they think there is more to be done when it comes to addressing failures by airlines.
“We’re working on a rulemaking right now to make it clearer for consumers what the ability is for them in terms of refunds,” Trottenberg said. “And all options are on the table, we’re going to continue to make sure that we have consumers back.”
ABC News’ Sam Sweeney and Amanda Maile contributed to this report.
Source: ABC News