As passengers face more than usual delays and canceled flights on July 4, an Axios report revealed airlines knew in advance there would be trouble.
axios This was reported by Joann Muller Delta Air Lines knew it would face “operational challenges” over the July 4 holiday weekend, when millions of people travel.
However, the airline tried to forestall a potential problem by allowing customers to change their plans with a free rebooking, typically for a fee of up to $200 per ticket.
Delta’s system-wide travel waiver gives customers the ability “to rebook their trip before or after potentially challenging weekend travel days—with no fare difference or change fees, as long as customers are traveling between the same origin and destination.”
As Axios pointed out, Delta’s waiver allows customers not to pay the fare difference for a new flight as long as the new flight has the same origin and destination. However, Delta’s travel window is tight as rescheduled trips must be completed by July 8, a Friday, and customers cannot extend travel into the weekend.
Despite all this, no one wants to take the blame. The airline industry and the federal agency responsible for air travel – the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – have blamed each other.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian told employees in a webinar on June 29 that he sees a “stressed” air traffic control system as the main cause of flight disruptions.
“This is about a partnership and the government needs to step up,” added Bastian. “It should get better, but that will be a limitation that will keep us busy for some time.”
But Biden’s Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who heads the department that oversees the FAA, has blamed the downsizing on airlines, which have seen a significant drop in air travel during the coronavirus pandemic, as the reason for the fighting.
“The majority of cancellations and the majority of delays have nothing to do with air traffic control staffing,” Buttigieg told NBC News’ Lester Holt on June 28.
The airline industry also received $54 billion in federal aid during the coronavirus pandemic, Axios noted.
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.