The Department Of Transportation has already made many strides to apply pressure on airline companies for delayed and canceled flights. Pete Buttigieg has spearheaded policies to make airlines pay for the damage done to customers traveling as of this year. Now there’s a group of Democrats who would like the DOT to strengthen the policies against airlines even more.

Congress Demands DOT Enforce Refunds & More

Senators Maria Cantwell, Edward Markey, and Richard Blumenthal wants the DOT to force airlines to cover the cost of the canceled flight, the cost of the transportation to and from the airport, as well as any food and lodging that could occur when a flight is canceled.

The Senators claim that airline companies canceled almost 3% of flights which caused a frenzy of issues for many travelers. Airline companies’ issues with staffing and lack of pilots should not be at the cost of the customers’ time and money. Senators want the DOT to enforce a much heavier penalty.

Senators' Requirements

“This rulemaking is a critical response to the increase in flight cancellations and delays during the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in a record number of consumer complaints about the refund process,” the senators wrote. “While we commend the agency for taking this step, DOT can strengthen the proposed rule by protecting consumers from other costs that are beyond their control, including ticket service fees on canceled flights and secondary expenses resulting from a flight cancellation or delay.”

The Senators are requesting the DOT implement the following:

—Make it a requirement that airlines cover secondary costs such as hotels, food, and transportation to-and-from the airport when an airline cancels or significantly delays a flight.

—Remove all service fees if customers need to reschedule when an airline cancels a flight.

— Report to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics the amount of refunds and vouchers issued to travelers each month.