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Buttigieg wants airlines to address flight cancellations

FAA Airlines Flights
Posted at 8:16 AM, Jun 20, 2022

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he's pushing airlines to hire more customer-service agents and take other steps to help travelers this summer.

Buttigieg told The Associated Press his department could take enforcement action against airlines that fail to meet consumer-protection standards, although he thinks that won't be necessary. Buttigieg said he wants to see how the airlines do over the July Fourth holiday weekend and the rest of the summer.

He held a virtual meeting on Thursday with airline executives where they described steps their companies are taking to avoid a repeat of the Memorial Day weekend, when about 2,800 flights were canceled.

According to government data, 2.55% of domestic arrivals were canceled in 2018 and 2019. Cancellations jumped to 6.68% due to COVID-19.

Generally, cancellations peak in the winter due to major winter storms.

In the first three months of 2022, 3.99% of flights were canceled, government data showed.

Government data shows that the number of passengers remains slightly below pre-pandemic levels.