Airlines may have to pay for travel disruptions they cause

Dealbook by Andrew Ross Sorkin NYT column

Pay for delays

Rotten luck seems to follow Mattia Zenere, 31, on his travels lately.

Over the past five years, four of his flights have involved long delays or cancellations, including one misadventure — on a trip from London to Venice, Italy — that caused him to arrive a full day late.

But there’s a silver lining: Thanks to Europe’s robust consumer protection rules for airlines, in each case, the customer service professional was refunded his out-of-pocket expenses. Zenere also received an additional hardship payout from the airline for three of the disruptions.

“The law really works,” he said.

For fed-up air travelers in the U.S., similar protections could be on the horizon — and the airlines aren’t happy about it. This week, President Biden and Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, announced plans to introduce new rules this year that would require airlines to pay up for travel disruptions they cause.

Following waves of pandemic-era flight interruptions and the fiasco that forced Southwest Airlines to cancel 16,700 flights around the winter holidays, Biden is betting that Americans will want the kind of protections Europeans (and non-Europeans who fly in Europe) have enjoyed for nearly 20 years.


yeah, but Europeans are a bunch of degenerate Commies!

Here in Shiny-land, when states started enacting “passenger bill of rights” laws, some 20 years ago, the Feds said that, the moment the person sets foot on the plane, they are under federal regulation, so the states can pound sand…and the feds had no intention of “burdening” the airlines with blather about passenger rights.

(Please ignore the names named in this article)


It has gotten to the point that I will not fly within the USA if at all possible. If I leave the country it will be on a foreign airline.

Also, will not fly on any Southwest flights ever because I will not fly on a 757 none of them, ever. Finally, I am likely to fly business class or better on any long flight, if I cannot or will not afford it, I will not go.

Airlines and the executives of airlines and the owned politicians that have created this nasty thing we call aviation have a standing invitation to -


but, But, BUT…Shiny-land is capitalistic, not Communistical. That means profit before people. Saying otherwise brings you to the attention of the thought police, who protect our “freeedom”.

Last couple times I have flown, it has been via Gooney Bird. Not fast or quiet, but great door to door service. (I’m in the white shirt, kneeling on the right end.)


Southwest doesn’t fly any 757s, they only use 737s for their entire fleet.


Right. I meant 737. The Max was created for Southwest.


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Yep, the 737 max is one of the most popular models across the globe. I was sure that after the two crashes, it would lose popularity, and that sales would drop like a rock (and I commented about that here as well). But, no, I was wrong, sales are way up since then. Way way way up.


I suspect most passengers are oblivious to the type of aircraft they are on. Airline management only think in terms of cost.

When Boeing reports sales, they only say what the sale is worth, if the airplanes sold at list price, but planes rarely sell for list price. So, while BA is pumping up it’s stock by boasting about huge sales, if they were sold at list price, what the planes actually sell for is generally not disclosed. So, we don’t really know if BA is making a nickle on these sales, or if they are inflating the numbers to juice the stock today, knowing the red ink at delivery will not show up for a few years.

Sounds like BA took a dive on the price to get the Ryanair contract. In spite of O’Leary’s comments, the performance of the plane did not change, therefore it must have been the price that changed.

At list prices, 150 planes would sell for more than $20 billion, though Boeing and other manufacturers typically agree to deep discounts for such large orders…Negotiations had previously fallen apart over a disagreement on price, but Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said that he was willing to pay more after taking into account the benefits of the new plane.