Air service has been notoriously poor this year. Labor and supply issues have created a spike in flight cancellations and delays, and longer TSA security lines. It’s not a pretty picture for travellers. However, the Department of Transportation has just released a new airline customer service dashboard that clearly explains US airline delay and cancellation policies.
The new dashboard examines what 10 airlines promise their customers in terms of rebooking, meals, hotel accommodations and ground transportation in the event of cancellations and delays within the airline’s control. These circumstances include crew shortages, maintenance issues and baggage and aircraft cleaning issues, among others.
The dashboard makes it easy to find out what airlines offer and compare carriers. For example, without having to scroll through the pages of airline service plans online, it is easy to see that only half of US airlines promise to rebook passengers on another airline at no additional cost in the event significant delay or cancellation. Also, did you know that most airlines say they will provide travelers with a meal voucher or meal/cash voucher for delays over three hours? The only airline that does not offer this accommodation is Allegiant Air.
Below is the easy to read table of airline service promisesthe DOT also provides links to each airline’s customer service plan and reminds travelers of this important fact: “If an airline cancels a passenger’s flight or makes a material change to the flight, whatever the reasonairlines are required to provide a prompt refund to a ticketed passenger, including those with nonrefundable tickets, if the passenger chooses not to accept the offered alternative, such as rebooking on another flight.
The site also has a direct link to the DOT’s “Airline Service Complaint or Comment Form” where passengers can register any issues related to “flight delays and cancellations, overbooking, disability, flight delays, tarmac, baggage, discrimination, refunds, ticketing practices, family seating, frequent flyer programs, charter flights, privacy and air ambulance service.
The airlines covered by the Airline Customer Service Dashboard are Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, and United.