Along with the myriad of challenges today’s meeting participants must overcome in deciding whether or not to attend an event, air travel (and its repercussions) presents one of the more formidable issues to consider.
TSA screened 8.76 million air travelers over Labor Day weekend beating out 2019’s pre-pandemic number by 2%!
Whereby statistics like this were normally used to describe a holiday weekend, an ordinary mid-week, off peak time to fly now has passengers experiencing a significantly increased number of fellow flyers. Along with this higher traffic volume comes more delays and/or outright cancellations. Historically, deciphering obscure rules as described in the Contract of Carriage relating to restitution due passengers has been the norm when an airline failed to provide the service paid for through no action or fault of the consumer.
However, help is on the way! In late August, the Transportation Department introduced an Airline Customer Service Dashboard which allows passengers to see what each carrier is committed to doing for them in cases of “controllable” (meaning their fault) cancellations or significant delays.
Re-accommodation can range from handing out food vouchers in case of long delays, providing a hotel in case of an overnight cancellation/delay to rebooking you on the same airline at no additional cost, or even on a competitor’s flight. However, not all airlines will offer the same levels of re-accommodation with the ultra-low-cost carriers less amenable to some of the above mentioned entitlements.
Now passengers can consult this simple dashboard rather than trying to read through the excruciatingly small print of the aforementioned Contract of Carriage on an individual airline’s website to find out what they are entitled to – or not. What the Transportation Department is saying now is that more focus in dealing with the aftermath of delays and cancellations is long overdue and they are laying down the law.
Hopefully this will help to eliminate the attendee’s question of “should I or should I not rely on an airline to get me to my meeting, event or convention on time and unstressed?”
Submitted by Maureen Pickell