DOT Unveils Helpful New Dashboard for Travelers

As an air traveler, we can know that it can often be tough to understand what you’re entitled to in the event of a delay or cancellation by your airline. When you’re facing a delay or possible cancellation, chances are you’re probably flustered, upset, and ultimately just want to get to your destination whether that destination is home, or somewhere for work on orders. In early September, the Department of Transportation (DOT), unveiled a new dashboard on their website so air travelers can easily see if they’re entitled to meals, a hotel, or possibly a full refund of their ticket. Previously, when delays or cancellations happened, it was often difficult for passengers to understand the convoluted policies of the airlines regarding delays and cancellations.

This new dashboard makes it easy for passengers to understand what they’re entitled to when flying the ten largest United States airlines. These airlines include Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, United and the various regional airlines that fall under the mainline carriers. These ten airlines and their regional carriers make up 96 percent of air travel. Previously, many of these airline policies were only discretionary depending on the circumstances. Now, these policies noted in the dashboard are all official airlines policies and travelers are now guaranteed to these with the DOT able to enforce these items the airlines promise to uphold.

While cancellations are still exceedingly rare, with about 2 percent of all flights in the US being cancelled in the late summer, it’s still good to know as a traveler what you’re entitled to in the event of a cancellation.

Prior to the dashboard rollout, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg urged airlines to find ways to improve their service. Many of the airlines did follow through with Secretary Buttigieg’s request. For example, no airline unconditionally guaranteed meal vouchers or hotels prior to Secretary Buttigieg’s request. Now, nine of the 10 airlines guarantee meals and eight of the 10 promise hotel accommodations when an airline issue causes the delay or cancelation. 

Visit the official Department of Transportation website to access the Dashboard.

The Bottom Line

With the DOT now able to enforce these publicly displayed policies, here’s to hoping for a more stress-free and easier to understand travel experience moving forward.