Biden administration wants airlines to reimburse passengers


A few months ago I tried to buy wifi on a United flight and then realized that I couldn’t buy an hour – or even the duration of my flight – of connectivity. My only option at the time was to buy a monthly subscription … for $ 30. Because I’m a JetBlue loyalist (and not just because they offer free in-flight wifi) I didn’t need a month of United wifi back then, but because I had a job. to do, I still bit the bullet. I spent the entire three hours that followed trying to connect to the wifi… to no avail.

It won’t be a surprise to anyone that the $ 30 fee will still be paid before the plane lands at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International.

Chances are, if you’ve been flying at any point in the past 16 months or so, that story resonates with you on some level. Regardless of what it was for, you were likely subjected to some form of additional (and frankly, ridiculous) charge for services that weren’t provided or were not explicitly told to you when booking. The good news is that according to a new Forbes Dan Reed report, it looks like we’re all about to have our (metaphorical) day in court.

According to Reed, the Biden administration is currently in the process of defining a new set of rules that will require airlines to start reimbursing services paid for but not rendered, as well as for items such as fees related to checked baggage on flights. retarded – an idea that has been thrown on the Congressional floor for years without ever really taking off. Looks like it’s gonna change.

Following the issuance of $ 46 billion in grants and an additional $ 22 billion in government loans during the pandemic, the mismanagement of COVID business by major airlines has apparently left a pretty bad taste in the mouth not only consumers around the world, but also members of both the House and the Senate across party lines. With broad bipartisan support, it now seems likely that the sanctions proposed by the Biden administration could soon be enacted.

And while these new sanctions seemingly have nothing to do with the chaos surrounding COVID cancellations and reschedules, as Reed puts it, “There is no question that airlines have lost a ton of goodwill credit among members. of Congress by stubbornly refusing to give cash refunds to anyone. whose previously purchased trips were marred by the outbreak of COVID-19. “

So, if you are still waiting for reimbursement for various air services that have never been delivered, there may still be hope for you. And, of course, in the meantime there’s always JetBlue.

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