Buttigieg Left Speechless After Major Airlines Sue Biden Administration

(RepublicanJournal.org) – In April, the Biden administration brought in new regulations on airline pricing. The plan was to save passengers money by forcing companies to be fully transparent about the fees they charge. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg thinks it’s a great idea — but the airlines don’t agree, and now they’re suing the government.

On April 24, the Department of Transportation issued two new regulations for the airline industry. The first requires airlines to issue automatic refunds if flights are canceled or excessively delayed; the second orders them to be upfront about any extra fees they charge for baggage or when passengers change or cancel flights. That information has to be provided before customers finalize their booking. Announcing the rule change, Buttigieg said airlines should be competing with each other “to secure passengers’ business — not to see who can charge the most in surprise fees,” and claimed travelers would save half a billion dollars a year.

However, the regulations weren’t well received by the industry. On May 10, six separate airlines — Alaska, American, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue Airways, and United — and trade group Airlines for America filed a suit in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. In a statement, Airlines for America said the rules would “greatly confuse consumers” with too much information, and pointed out that passengers are already aware of the fees anyway.

Buttigieg quickly hit back at the airlines. On May 14, he posted a message on X (formerly Twitter) criticizing the decision. Buttigieg blasted the companies’ objections, ridiculing the idea that being told charges would “confuse” passengers. He finished by saying, “For once, I am speechless.”

The Biden administration has failed to convince Americans the economy is improving, so it’s launched a crackdown on what it’s calling “junk fees.” Recent regulations have targeted credit card late fees and TV pricing. Now the airlines are in Biden’s sights — but they’re not giving up easily.

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