The Biden administration’s Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg should be held accountable for his lack of actions that contributed to the chaotic flight cancellations, delays and ticket refunds travelers are experiencing this holiday season. Buttigieg was warned, by his own Democratic party, of a looming airline crisis back in November.
On November 23, Democratic Senators Maria Cantwell of Washington, Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut wrote a letter to Buttigieg urging him to strengthen and expedite new regulations targeting airlines’ performance. “Passengers are rightfully displeased with airline performance…Consumers deserve even stronger protections,” the letter reads.
Additionally, 38 state attorneys general complained about Buttigieg to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a few months prior. The attorneys general accused Buttigieg of turning a deaf ear to travelers’ complaints.
The letter to Pelosi stated, “Over the past couple of years, our offices have received thousands of complaints from outraged airline passengers about airline customer service- including about systematic failures to provide required credits to those who lost travel opportunities during the pandemic.”
After the summer airline failures, Buttigieg dismissed any concerns. “I think it will get better by the holidays. We’re really pressing the airlines to deliver better service,” Buttigieg told, of all people, “The Late Late Show” host James Corden.
The complaint to Pelosi also noted, “Federal law places the central responsibility for addressing violations of airline consumer protection with the United States Department of Transportation…Unfortunately, the agency has thus far failed to respond and to provide appropriate recourse in those cases.”
The letter continued, “Americans are justifiably frustrated with the federal government agencies charged with overseeing airline consumer protection are unable or unwilling to hold the airline industry accountable.”
Democratic strategist Nina Turner tweeted, “What’s happening with the railroads, airlines & the supply chain is a result of a small city mayor being made the Secretary of Transportation as a means to pad his resume for President.” Ouch! She continued, “Secretary Buttigieg is a prime example of failing up.”