WEEKLY ADDRESS: Taking Action to Spur Competition in the Airline Industry and Give Consumers the Information They Need
In this week’s address, President Obama highlighted the actions his administration is taking to spur competition in the airline industry, protect consumers and arm them with the information they need to make informed decisions, following the President’s call to action in April. Building on the progress we’ve made so far, this week’s actions include a proposed requirement for airlines to reimburse luggage fees when bags are delayed; requiring airlines to report on the probability that your luggage could be lost; providing protections for travelers with disabilities; and requiring additional transparency and fairness in online ticket platforms. The President highlighted these steps as another example of how government can be a force for good – ensuring that everyday Americans get a fair shake in our economy and have a voice in the conversation. That’s what these actions are about – taking steps, big and small, to better the lives of everyday Americans.
Remarks of President Barack Obama as Prepared for Delivery
The White House
October 22, 2016
Hi everybody. I’m going to be honest with you – one of the best parts of being President is having your own plane. And I’m going to miss it. A lot. Because up until I ran for this office, I was mostly flying coach. So I know what a pain the whole process can be – from searching for the best prices to that feeling you get when the baggage carousel stops and yours still hasn’t come out.
Now, our airlines employ a lot of hardworking folks – from pilots and flight attendants to ticket agents and baggage handlers – who take pride in getting us to our destinations safely, and on time. They do good work, and we’re proud of them. But I think we all know that the system can work a little better for everybody.
That’s why, over the last eight years, my Administration has taken some commonsense steps to do just that. We’ve put in place rules that virtually eliminated excessive delays on the tarmac. We’ve required airlines to grant travelers more flexibility on cancellations; to provide refunds to anyone who cancels within 24 hours of purchase; and to give you better compensation if you got bumped off your flight because it was oversold.
And this week, I was proud to build on that progress with even more actions to save you money, create more competition in the marketplace, and make sure that you’re getting what you pay for.
First, we’re proposing refunds for anyone whose bag is delayed – because you shouldn’t have to pay extra for a service you don’t even receive. Second, we’re requiring airlines to report more information on things like how likely it is that you’ll lose your luggage or reach your destination on time. Third, we’re providing more protections for travelers with disabilities. And finally, we’re ramping up transparency requirements for online ticket platforms – so sites can’t privilege one airline over another without you knowing about it.
All of this should help you make better decisions for yourselves and your families – and hopefully avoid a few headaches, too. It’s another example of how government can be a force for good – standing up for consumers; ensuring businesses compete fairly to give you the best services at the best prices; and making sure everyday Americans have a voice in the conversation – not just corporate shareholders. That’s what this is all about – taking steps, big and small, that can make your life a little bit better.
Thanks everybody. Have a great weekend.