Delta CEO says proposed airline rules will lead to higher ticket prices

  • Proposed government regulations for airlines could lead to higher ticket prices, Delta's CEO said.

  • The regulations would require airlines to compensate passengers for controllable delays or cancellations.

  • Delta covers rebooking, meals, hotels, and transportation costs. It does not provide cash, travel vouchers, or miles.

If the Biden administration introduces new regulations requiring airlines to compensate passengers for controllable cancellations and delays, ticket prices will go up, according to Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian.

"There's no question if there's another layer of government regulation and cost that's introduced into the system, it will eventually find its way back into ticket prices," Bastian told CBS Mornings on May 17. "That's just common business logic."

Earlier this month, the US Department of Transportation announced plans to come up with new rules that would hold airlines more accountable for potential cancellations and delays.

The new rules, which have not been drafted yet, would require airlines to provide passengers compensation and cover the cost of meals, hotels, and flight rebooking when a delay of more than three hours or a cancellation is caused by the airline.

Disruptions caused by factors out of the airline's control, such as bad weather, would not be included.

Bastian said that, since the rules are not out yet, it would be premature to comment on them, but added that compensating passengers is something Delta already does.

According to the DOT Airline Customer Service Dashboard, Delta does provide free rebooking and covers the cost of meals, hotels, and transportation if there are controllable cancellations or delays of more than 3 hours.

It does not provide compensation in the form of cash — no major US airline does that — travel vouchers, or frequent flyer miles.

The DOT's announcement is part of a recent string of efforts to better protect passengers after last summer was so ridden with delays and cancellations some called it a "flightmare."

Delta did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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