US airlines are obligated to provide meals and hotel rooms for the extended delays they have caused

US airlines are obligated to provide meals and hotel rooms for the extended delays they have caused

Passengers use self-check-in machines as they travel from John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York City, US, July 2, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Major U.S. airlines have told the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) they will offer customers meals three hours late and hotel rooms to stranded passengers if they are prompted by problems under the airlines’ control.

American Airlines (AAL.O), United Airlines (UAL.O), Southwest Airlines (LUV.N), Delta Air Lines (DAL.N), JetBlue Airways (JBLU.O) and other detailed obligations In their customer service plans they updated this week based on a USDOT claim. Many airlines previously offered vouchers or hotel rooms for delays they caused but did not specify commitments in their customer service plans.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said August 19 that by Friday, before the busy Labor Day travel weekend, he will publish an “interactive dashboard” for air travelers to compare services offered by each major US airline when cancellations or delays were due to circumstances under which they were subject. control of the airline. Buttigieg wrote to airline chief executives asking them “at a minimum” to provide meal vouchers for delays of three hours or more and accommodation for those who have to wait overnight due to disruptions in the carrier’s control.

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Buttigieg also warned that the USDOT was “considering options” to write new rules “that would expand the rights of airline passengers.”

In the past, some airline customers had to know to request airline vouchers or hotels.

Some airlines said in their updated customer service plans that if they can’t find a hotel room, they will offer a voucher or reimburse stranded passengers if they find a reasonably priced room on their own and will refund their transportation costs.

Southwest Airlines said that if meal vouchers were not available for a three-hour airport delay under its control, it would fulfill reasonable reimbursement requests.

JetBlue will offer $12 meal vouchers and United Airlines will give meal vouchers for “the reasonable cost of a meal at airport food vendors. If you don’t get one automatically, just ask us” about a three-hour delay under its control.

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David Shepardson News. Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Otis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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