U.S. President Joe Biden. (photo via jlhervas/Flickr)
President Joe Biden on Monday lauded his own administration for putting more pressure on airlines to treat passengers better, a likely nod to the numerous delays and cancellations that have taken place for much of this year.
“My administration is also cracking down on the airlines to get passengers fairer treatment,” Biden said in remarks made on Monday, as reported by Reuters. “(Transportation) Secretary (Pete) Buttigieg, at my request, called them out. We’re going to get more rules in the works to protect airline passengers even further.”
Buttigieg has indeed cracked down on airlines, mostly with rhetoric and threats, however. The Secretary himself was forced to drive from Washington to New York earlier this year, imposed a new online dashboard to track delays and cancellations, and said the federal government has the power to command airlines to hire more workers to help alleviate the short staffing issue.
Buttigieg did say he believes the chaotic airline and airport situation will “get better” by the holidays.
But in his remarks on Monday, Biden did not mention that the staffing issues that have contributed to the disruption of flights is not unique to domestic carriers, as airlines worldwide have been affected.
That’s probably one reason why Airlines for America, the trade group that represents virtually all U.S.-based airlines, quickly shot back with a statement following Biden’s speech. The President also alleged that airlines did not provide food and lodging for passengers who were displaced by the cancellations.
“It is not accurate to say that no U.S. airline covered meals and hotels for passengers severely impacted by carrier-caused flight delays and cancellations,” A4A said in a statement.
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