JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There’s a new tool for flyers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is rolling out a dashboard to help travelers the next time their flight is canceled.
It follows a frustrating summer for passengers who experienced flight delays 24% of the time.
News4JAX on Thursday spoke with passengers at Jacksonville International Airport about how the new dashboard can benefit them. It wasn’t hard to find a traveler whose flight was canceled.
″I think that’s what happened with the flight coming into Michigan, it was weather, mechanical, and that’s where the passengers got upset,” said passenger Brock Oshell said.
News4JAX caught up with Oshell after his business flight was canceled. He said he spent an extra night in Michigan after the cancellation. He said passengers were irate.
″I could see the frustration on the faces of the people from the Grand Rapids flight coming in,” he said.
Oshell is just one of the thousands of flyers who witnessed the widespread problems firsthand. Staffing shortages and air traffic control issues are typically blamed for the cancellations.
“These shortages, flight personnel, they know they’ve got their shortages, why are they booking flights they know they can’t man? It needs to be resolved,” said James Griffin, whose family was flying in.
Griffin just learned about the Department of Transportation’s new dashboard. It is part of an extended pressure campaign from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has said he’s publicly challenging major carriers to improve their service and transparency.
The new dashboard will:
- Let flyers know what kind of guarantees, refunds and compensation they are entitled to
- Inform flyers whether they are offered meal vouchers or hotel accommodations
- Help rebook a new flight
So far this year, airlines have canceled about 146,000 flights, and nearly 1.3 million flights have been delayed.
Passengers told News4JAX on Thursday that the dashboard will give them valuable information that they’ve never looked up when booking their tickets.
“Most people come to the airport and think if it gets canceled, it’s going to be on them to pay the cost of staying somewhere there and getting meals,” Griffin said. “So if airlines are held responsible, maybe they’ll be more responsible in getting the job done.”
The official Department of Transportation Airline Customer Service Dashboard went live Thursday. It can be found here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.