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New Dept. of Transportation Proposal Includes Full Refunds For Canceled Flights

Department of Transportation is working on a resolution to compensate airline passengers who face travel delays. This past weekend 8,000 domestic flights were canceled and 951 were delayed due to widespread labor shortages.

At New York City’s Laguardia Airport, Floridian couple Charles Massi and his wife faced an over 24-hour commute to Orlando, Florida from New York because of delays. Massi spoke to CBS stating that their flight was scheduled to be on time up until they arrived at the airport. Meanwhile, at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, New Yorker Maddy Mallory was stranded at the airport causing her to have to call out from work. "It was really inconvenient because then we had to take work off today and actually our flight this morning got canceled so we had to get rebooked again," Malloy said.

The airline industry is suffering from a lack of pilots, ground workers and air traffic controllers. "The airlines continue to be understaffed. They continue to be overscheduled. Even though the U.S. Department of Transportation is claiming things are getting better, the numbers don't reflect that,“ said CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg.

In order to help financially protect travelers the Department of Transportation announced a proposal that would include full refunds for canceled flights, and passengers would also be eligible for compensation if the flight departure or arrival airport changes, or if the number of connections is increased on an itinerary, or if departure and arrival times are significantly delayed.

Upon the announcement last Monday, a few travelers commented, one stating, “I really do think that would help and it would make me feel more secure traveling.” Another traveler commented, “It would put more ownership on the airline to do something about it.”

Prior to a final decision being made on the proposal, it will be open for public comment for 90 days.

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