Department of Transportation outlines plan to prevent travel disruption for passengers on Memorial Day

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Millions of people are planning to travel this Memorial Day weekend, some by plane. Following recent airline collapses, the Department for Transport says it has taken steps to hold airlines accountable and prevent future travel problems.

Memorial Day travel forecasts are sky high. AAA’s Andrew Gross says their expectations point to a busy weekend for flyers.

“We assume that around 3.4 million people will travel by plane. And that’s the highest we’ve seen since 2005,” Gross said.

He says their numbers suggest the collapse of leisure airlines isn’t stopping people from flying.

“They’ve decided to keep their fingers crossed, maybe get travel insurance, but they’re going,” Gross said.

Secretary Pete Buttigieg says the Department of Transport has been working to ensure travel runs smoothly.

“We’ve seen airlines make significant improvements in on-time performance over the past few months,” Buttigieg said.

He detailed the two-part approach they have taken: working with airlines to resolve logistical issues and pressuring them to compensate travelers when things go wrong.

“The customer service commitments we’ve received from airlines will make a difference,” Buttigieg said.

He says his department has helped airline passengers get more than $1 billion in refunds for canceled flights. He also pointed out that almost all major airlines now guarantee free rebookings and cover hotel and meal expenses if they are responsible for delays.

“We are doing everything we can to urge airlines to provide this good service. And if there’s a problem, we’re here for you,” Buttigieg said.

Sek Buttigieg promises they will continue to work to hold airlines accountable.

“These airlines can certainly be profitable while treating their passengers better, and that’s what we’re trying to achieve here,” Buttigieg said.

He reckons Memorial Day weekend will be a key indicator of what summer travel will be like.

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