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US Transport Chief Vows to Give Airlines a Good Whack When Passengers Need It

Hey there, folks! Buckle up ’cause we got some news about the U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg being all fired up to take on airlines when they mess up and leave passengers in the lurch. The Biden administration means business, and they’re on a mission to give passenger consumer protections a major upgrade!

Speaking to Reuters in a no-holds-barred interview last Thursday, Buttigieg said, “We’re gonna make sure those airlines stick to their promises, and we won’t hesitate to hold them accountable.” That’s right, no more messing around!

You see, these airlines and the administration have had their fair share of tiffs lately, arguing about flight delays, passenger rights, landing slots—you name it. They even squabbled over air traffic control staffing, but the Federal Aviation Administration is gonna step up its game, no doubt!

Buttigieg ain’t afraid to throw down the gauntlet either. He’s launched investigations and slapped fines on carriers that have been naughty. And let’s not forget President Joe Biden chiming in too, giving airlines a piece of his mind. He once said, “Airlines can’t go treatin’ your kiddo like a mere piece of luggage!”

Now, here’s the deal—Buttigieg does try to work with airlines when he can, but when push comes to shove, he ain’t gonna hold back. “We’re gonna beat ’em up when it’s time to get passengers a better deal,” he said with fiery determination.

The man’s on a mission, folks! He’s got plans to expand passenger rights like never before, and yeah, it’s natural there’ll be some bumps along the way. Tensions are bound to rise, but it’s all for a good cause, ya know?

Oh, and let’s talk about United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. He had some strong words for the FAA before, but he’s singing a different tune now. Maybe Buttigieg’s got something to do with it? You never know!

United had a rough patch in late June and early July, with more cancellations than they’d like. Air traffic control staffing was one of the culprits, but they’re gonna sort it out.

Southwest Airlines had its own drama too in 2022. Bad weather mixed with some legacy scheduling system issues turned things into a mess. Buttigieg’s got his investigators on the case, but hush-hush for now on the findings.

Buttigieg ain’t just talkin’, he’s got plans, people! The Transportation Department is cookin’ up new rules to make airlines compensate passengers big time for significant flight delays or cancellations when it’s the carriers’ fault.

Speaking of changes, that 5G C-Band rollout on July 1 went better than expected, thank goodness! Buttigieg had warned about potential delays for airplanes without upgraded radio altimeters, but the airlines managed to get their act together. Still, it was a real nail-biter there for a while!

And hey, we gotta mention that the FAA’s been without a Senate-confirmed administrator for a bit. But don’t you worry, the White House is close to namin’ a new nominee. Word on the street is it could be former Deputy FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker, but shhh, Buttigieg’s keepin’ mum about it for now!

So there you have it, folks. Buttigieg’s not messin’ around when it comes to passengers’ rights. He’s ready to take on the airlines, keep ’em in check, and make sure we all get a fair deal. Let’s give ’em a cheer and hope for smooth skies ahead!

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