President Biden criticizes airline policies, promotes airport upgrades

Sep. 13, 2022 7:02 AM ETDelta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL), AAL, UAL, LUVJBLU, ALK, SKYW, ALGT, HA, SAVE, MESA, SNCY, ULCCBy: Kevin P. Curran, SA News Editor72 Comments

Boston Skyline Logan Airport Arrival Airliner Sunset

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President Biden had pointed criticism for US airlines over their treatment of passengers amid capacity cuts that have helped lead to delays and cancellations.

Biden indicated airlines will now be on the hook for lodging, food, and rebooking fees for cancellations under the terms of the new infrastructure bill. The Department of Transportation now tracks the services offered by each airline on a dashboard.

"My administration is cracking down on the airlines to get passengers fairer treatment," he said in remarks at Boston’s Logan Airport. "Secretary Buttigieg, at my request, called them out."

Transportation secretary Buttigieg has long been vocal about issues in the airline industry, touting customer service protections to come for delays and cancellations. This has led to a less than warm relationship with airlines, which have pushed back on the delays, laying much of the blame with the FAA. Groups representing US airlines have been similarly unhappy with Biden’s comments, pushing back on the claims that the new bill has instituted heretofore unseen consumer protections.

Elsewhere, Biden touted upgrades to airport infrastructure that will streamline and ease travel and lessen congestion at major US airports. For example, a $62M investment in Logan Airport was highlighted in the speech alongside billions in planned investments for New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

“LaGuardia is changing, with a multi-billion-dollar investment that’s turning it into a world-class airport again, just like you’re going to do here [in Boston],” Biden said. “And we’re not only doing this here in Boston. With this new law, across the country we’re investing $25B — $25 billion to modify our airports, from airports serving small towns like Turners Falls Airport in Western Massachusetts to major cities like Boston.”

  • US Airlines: Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL), Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV), Spirit Airlines (SAVE), Alaska Airlines (ALK), JetBlue Airways (JBLU), Sun Country (SNCY), Frontier Group (ULCC), Hawaiian Airlines (HA), SkyWest (SKYW), Allegiant (ALGT), Mesa Air Group (MESA).

Read more on recent scrutiny placed on US airlines’ use of pandemic bailout funds.

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