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New online dashboard helps flyers with delays, cancellations

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid months of mass flight cancellations and delays, the Division of Transportation has launched a customer service dashboard to assist vacationers forward of the travel-heavy Labor Day weekend.

Beginning Thursday, vacationers will have the ability to test the dashboard and see what sorts of ensures, refunds or compensation the main home airways provide in case of flight delays or cancellations. It’s designed to permit vacationers to buy round and favor these airways that supply the perfect compensation.

The dashboard is a part of an extended pressure campaign from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has publicly challenged the main carriers to enhance service and transparency after a summer time marred by cancellations and flight delays. As summer time journey returned to just about pre-coronavirus pandemic ranges, airways struggled to keep pace, with mass cancellations being blamed on staffing shortages, particularly among pilots.

“Passengers deserve transparency and readability on what to anticipate from an airline when there’s a cancelation or disruption,” Buttigieg mentioned in an announcement Wednesday. The brand new device, he mentioned, will assist vacationers to “simply perceive their rights, examine airline practices, and make knowledgeable selections.”

The dashboard compares all the main home airways’ insurance policies on points reminiscent of which provide meals for delays of greater than three hours and which provide to rebook flights on the identical or completely different airways at no extra cost. It focuses on what it calls “controllable” cancellations or delays — that means these attributable to mechanical points, staffing shortages or delays in cleansing, fueling or baggage dealing with. Delays or cancellations attributable to climate or safety issues don’t depend.

The Department of Transportation is hoping that the dashboard will encourage competitors amongst airways to supply probably the most transparency and the perfect protections for patrons.

Up to now this 12 months, airways have canceled about 146,000 flights, or 2.6% of all flights, and almost 1.3 million flights have been delayed, based on monitoring service FlightAware. The speed of cancellations is up about one-third from the identical interval in 2019, earlier than the pandemic, and the speed of delays is up almost one-fourth.

Federal officers have blamed most of the disruptions on understaffing at airways, which inspired workers to give up after the pandemic began. The airways have countered by blaming staffing issues at the Federal Aviation Administration, which employs air site visitors controllers.

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Related Press author David Koenig in Dallas contributed to this report.

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Comply with AP’s protection of air journey at https://apnews.com/hub/air-travel.

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