The Biden administration is going to propose a rule that requires airlines to give passengers cash compensation when their flights are delayed, reports The New York Times.
This seems like overdue common sense, and complies with the most basic principles of contract law. If you have a contract to provide a service in a certain manner, and you fail to fulfill that contract, you are in breach, and you must compensate the other party.
This provides a greater direct monetary (not merely reputational) incentive for the airlines to spend money to minimize delays and cancellations.
And this is already in place in the European Union. If your EU flight is delayed, depending on the distance of the flight and time of the delay, you may be entitled to up to 600 euros (about $660) cash money from the airline. Regardless of whether or not you are a citizen of an EU county.
Many Americans don't know this. A few years ago, when my family's Norwegian Air flight from Oslo, Norway to New York City was delayed for about eight hours, while I spent the time playing Yahtzee on my phone, my wife started researching the law on passenger compensation.
I was shocked when she told me that we were entitled to 600 euros each, $700 at the time. The four of us arrived home eight hours late, but some paperwork and a few weeks later, we were wired $2,800, which was far more than the cost of our roundtrip tickets!
As the summer travel season approaches, keep this in mind in you are traveling in Europe. Look up the rules for qualification: you can be eligible for compensation even if you're traveling on an American, or any non-EU, airline, if your flight originated in an EU country.