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Sec. Buttigieg presses airlines for accountability on flight delay reimbursements

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has criticized major airlines for the wave of customer complaints levied against them over accommodations following delayed flights.

Video transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: Still a few weeks left in this summer travel season, and despite all the delays at airports around the country, there may be a slight silver lining on the way for passengers who are so frustrated. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg wrote CEOs of the major airlines, asking for some accountability.

This letter reading, in part, "The Department asks that airlines, at a minimum, provide meal vouchers for delays of three hours or more and lodging accommodations for passengers who must wait overnight at an airport because of disruptions within the carrier's control." Seana, I know it's a slippery slope. These aren't hugely profitable, if not profitable at all, companies at the moment. But we need some accountability here.

SEANA SMITH: We certainly do need accountability. I think this is something that everyone who has had their flight delayed or cancelled over the last couple of months has been calling for. You take a look at the number of flights that have been cancelled. It was in this report here. 24% of flights were delayed throughout the first six months of the year. So I think it is time that airlines are held accountable.

We've talked-- we had a TikToker on-- was that earlier this week-- last week, showing us some hacks that if our flight was delayed or cancelled, we could potentially get reimbursed. But it is something, I think, airlines should be on the hook for this. And it isn't something that the passenger should be forced to pay for if their flight is cancelled.

DAVE BRIGGS: Yeah, again, a slippery slope because what they do over there in Europe is a whole other ball of wax. They really go after airlines, huge fines that I don't think our airline industry, at least at this moment, could afford. You might put some in bankruptcy. But it does seem like these decisions are made without the passenger in mind. And I hope Pete Buttigieg gets a good response from the airline CEO.