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The U.S. is Proposing New Rules for Airline Passengers When Flights Are Delayed or Canceled

May 12, 2023 | News

On May 8, 2023,  United States President Joe Biden made an announcement that may have a significant impact on airlines: The administration will be writing new rules  requiring airlines to compensate air travelers if they are stranded for reasons within the airline's control.

This compensation, which could cover meals, hotel rooms, airline miles, cash or vouchers, for stranded passengers would be in addition to ticket refunds. Currently, the U.S. only requires ticket refunds for delayed or canceled flights, though most major airlines do provide compensation for meals and complimentary hotel accommodations for passengers with extended disruptions. 

A similar regulation to protect consumers, EU 261, is already in place within the European Union. Through this regulation, passengers in the EU can qualify for compensation, refund or rerouting by the airline when their flight is delayed or canceled.  

What this means for passengers

Under the new regulations, passengers would be compensated when they experience significant disruptions, which may include being delayed for more than a few hours or stranded overnight. The new rules prioritize passenger experience and help passengers get a better deal when they travel, Biden has stated.

What this means for airlines

Under these new rules, airlines would be required to compensate air travelers and cover their meals and hotel rooms if the flight is canceled or delayed for a reason under the airline’s control. These reasons may include mechanical issues, lack of a crew, or other scheduling problems.

Officials at the Department of Transportation said  there’s no precise date yet for when the regulations will be put into effect, but airlines should begin to prepare for the change. Under these new rules, airlines will need more ways to give travelers compensation for canceled flights, including providing hotels, meals, transportation, or even rebooking with another airline — all while continuing to manage their costs and keep crews happy. 

How TA Connections can help

Flight disruptions happen — how you respond to them is what sets you apart. TA Connections, the airline industry’s leading source for end-to-end operational management, offers digital solutions created to improve customer experience, reduce costs, and put you back in control. 

TA Disruption Hub is an automated, intelligent disruption management system that allows airlines to create a full resolution plan based on costs, federal regulations, and passenger criteria. 

TA Disruption Hub monitors your entire airline and predicts possible disruption events, from advance schedule changes months before travel, to real-time monitoring of all flights in your day-of operations window.

TA Disruption Hub automates the front-end customer recovery journey. Customer satisfaction, regulatory constraints, and resolution costs are all considered.  Then a comprehensive disruption plan is communicated through a self-service portal that allows passengers to rebook flights, reserve hotels, process refunds, create vouchers or travel credits, and all from a single white-labeled self-service portal.

TA Disruption Hub automates the back-end too, automating processes with vendors, including booking, invoicing, and auditing. It integrates seamlessly with airlines’ existing systems to streamline any disruption event, including those that cause extended delays for passengers. 

Several European airline carriers have used the TA Disruption Hub to save millions under similar regulations in the EU. We’re uniquely positioned to help U.S. airline partners solve this new challenge.

Proactively manage disruptions with ease. Learn more about the TA Disruption Hub and request more information today.