As Americans head home for the holidays, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has released a public service announcement reminding those flying of their rights.
“If your flight does get delayed or canceled, know that the Department of Transportation has your back,” Buttigieg said in a video posted to X. “For example, we have secured enforceable commitments from the 10 largest airlines to cover expenses for things like rebooking, meals, and more, when you face delays or cancellations that are the airline’s responsibility.”
Passengers are “entitled to a full cash refund” if a flight is canceled for “any reason," Buttigieg reminded. He noted the Department of Transportation is also pushing for "fee-free family seating," which more airlines have begun to offer, but which he would like to see "across the board."
Plan for record Thanksgiving travel
A record amount of people are expected to travel to airports and on highways for the Thanksgiving holiday this week. The Transportation Security Administration expects 2.6 million passengers to be screened Tuesday and 2.7 million Wednesday. Sunday will be the busiest, with an estimated record-high 2.9 million passengers.
Severe thunderstorms, rain, and snow are expected to hit several parts of the U.S. during the week, including Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and New York. Delays in air travel are likely to occur across the East Coast earlier in the week, with delays on major highways also expected.
Accuweather predicts significant weather-related delays on highways such as Interstates 40, 44, 55, 64, 70, 75 and 80 as well as on the mid-Atlantic I-80, I-81 and I-95. While the weather will cause some headaches, it will likely still be safe to travel in most regions.
Buttigieg recommended travelers visit flightrights.gov so that they "know your rights and what to expect as a passenger," adding that "the Department of Transportation is here to support you."