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Airlines offering more compensation during delays just in time for Labor Day

Airlines offering reimbursements to travelers experiencing delays
Posted at 8:14 PM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 22:14:07-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — After a push from the U.S. Department of Transportation, major airlines are offering more compensation to travelers experiencing delays and cancellations.

The DOT released a proposal last month that would significantly strengthen protections for passengers wanting refunds for airline tickets. In the meantime, airlines are updating their policies to reimburse travelers during delays that are out of the hands of the company, including mechanical issues, staffing shortages, or an aircraft swap.

American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United are all offering meal vouchers during delays of three hours or more, reimbursement for hotels in the case of an overnight delay, and transportation to and from the hotel.

The airline policy updates come after a busy summer travel season at the Colorado Springs Airport. In July, the airport saw a 29% increase in total passengers compared to the same time in 2019.

The U.S Bureau of Transportation Statistics said so far this year more than 20% of flights have been delayed, the highest in the past 10 years.

Kristin Aldrich, a frequent traveler at the Colorado Springs Airport, said vouchers would be helpful for passengers when their plans are disrupted
by delays.

"Especially if you hadn't really planned on having a meal and now suddenly you're there for three to four hours. Yeah, that's going to soften the budget a little bit," she said.

Chris Tessmer was flying out of the airport on Thursday to see her sister over the holiday weekend. She said she travels quite a bit and would benefit from a voucher during a delay.

"You've got so much money to spend on food, or even at hotels. So it really helps and if you've got a big family, you have children, that's the best way to go and those vouchers would be wonderful," she said.

This month, the U.S. Department of Transportation released a new dashboard showing customers the compensation each major airline currently provides. Airlines are not providing compensation when the delay is out of their control, including weather and air traffic delays.
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