No compensation for “mechanical” flight delay, government’s bill says

As it stands now, the bill does not require airlines to compensate passengers in the event of mechanical malfunction. Why is that? Well, what we have decided to do, in some cases if there is an operational delay in a flight, for example because the flight crew was not there to fly it, or the airline made a change for operational reasons to maximize their traffic flow. If they cancelled a flight because it wasn’t full? There will be compensation there because that’s something that is within their control. It is not a mechanical problem. But why is mechanical not within their control? We do consider it to be within their control but for safety reasons, of course, we don’t want them to take off if there is a problem. In Europe they don’t have to choose between safety and compensation. They get both. We’re putting together our own Bill of Rights and I think you’re gonna see that we have a world-leading class or category of compensations. Let me put it to you this way, if you and I get on a plane and fly to anywhere in Europe, if there is a delay, a big delay from a mechanical malfunction on our way back from Europe, we do get compensation. Why should we as air passengers be treated differently depending on which direction we’re flying from? I think that we have to, yes, compensate passengers for certain things but at the same time we want to make sure that– that our airlines can remain competitive, so they can keep the prices as low as possible.

Maurice Vega

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