US summer travel may be easier than you think, says Pete Buttigieg
Memorial Day weekend signals that the unofficial start of the summer travel season is upon us. And if last year’s travel woes were any indication (paging: Southwest Airlines), we can expect long lines at TSA, full planes stranded on the tarmac, and lots and lots of cancellations. But, according to US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, things are not as dire as they may seem.
“The good news is that after a very disruptive year last year in terms of the struggles that the airlines had, things are catching up this year. In 2023, the preliminary data show cancellation rates under 2%.” In an extensive interview with Ian Bremmer for this week’s GZERO World. Secretary Buttigieg pointed the finger at airline companies for many of the travel hiccups that made news last year. Issues like staffing and air traffic control are not the main cause, not even close to being the main cause, of flight cancellations and delays. We've been working with the airlines, pressing the airlines, and they have delivered a lot of improvements with what's under their control.”
And, it turns out, quite a bit is under airlines’ control, including that the law requires they reimburse passengers for canceled flights. If that’s news to you, you’re not alone.