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                                                                                                 U.S. NEWS Tuesday 9 May 2023
            U.S. to propose new rules for airline cancellations, delays

            By DAVID KOENIG                                                                                                     After widespread flight dis-
            AP Airlines Writer                                                                                                  ruptions  last  summer,  the
            The  Biden  administration  is                                                                                      Transportation Department
            working on new regulations                                                                                          posted  an  online  dash-
            that  would  require  airlines                                                                                      board  that  was  designed
            to  compensate  passen-                                                                                             to  pressure  the  airlines  to
            gers and cover their meals                                                                                          improve  customer  service.
            and hotel rooms if they are                                                                                         The  site  lets  consumers
            stranded for reasons within                                                                                         check each airline’s policy
            the airline’s control.                                                                                              on refunds and compensa-
            The White House said Presi-                                                                                         tion  when  flights  are  can-
            dent Joe Biden and Trans-                                                                                           celed or delayed.
            portation  Secretary  Pete                                                                                          Each of the 10 largest U.S.
            Buttigieg  would  announce                                                                                          airlines quickly promised to
            the start of the rulemaking                                                                                         provide  cash  or  vouchers
            process Monday.                                                                                                     for  meals  when  a  cancel-
            The   rulemaking    pledge                                                                                          lation  forces  passengers
            continues  a  push  by  the                                                                                         to wait at least three hours
            Democratic      administra-                                                                                         for  another  flight.  Nine  of
            tion  to  require  airlines  to                                                                                     the  10    all  but  Frontier  Air-
            improve  customer  service,                                                                                         lines  also promised to pay
            and it comes just weeks be-                                                                                         for  accommodations  for
            fore  the  start  of  the  peak                                                                                     passengers  stranded  over-
            summer travel season.        Passengers wait in line to check in for their flights at Southwest Airlines service desk at LaGuardia   night.   Questions   arose
            The aim of the rules would   Airport, on Dec. 27, 2022, in New York.                                                again  around  reimbursing
            be, for the first time, to re-                                                                     Associated Press   consumers for out-of-pock-
            quire  airlines  to  pay  com-  Airlines  for  America,  which  more workers and reducing  lish  final  rules  around  new  et  costs  after  Southwest
            pensation beyond a ticket  represents the biggest car-    their  schedules,  the  group  compensation for travelers.  Airlines  canceled  nearly
            refund  and  to  cover  ex-  riers,  said  in  a  statement  said.                     The  rule-making  process  17,000  flights  during  a  De-
            penses  that  consumers  in-  that  airlines  have  no  in-  After the pandemic hit, air-  can take months or years.  cember  meltdown  in  ser-
            cur,  including  rebooking  centive to delay or cancel  lines paid tens of thousands  Currently,  when  an  airline  vice.
            on another flight, if the air-  flights. The trade group said  of  workers  to  quit  or  retire  cancels  a  flight  for  any  The Transportation and Jus-
            line  causes  a  cancellation  more than half of cancella-  early,  but  they  have  add-  reason, consumers can de-  tice departments are inves-
            or  significant  delay.”When  tions in 2022 and 2023 have  ed  about  118,000  workers  mand  a  refund  of  the  un-  tigating whether Southwest
            an  airline  causes  a  flight  been caused by “extreme  since  November  2020  and  used part of their ticket and  scheduled more flights than
            cancellation or delay, pas-  weather” or air traffic con-  now  have  5%  more  em-    certain  extras  that  they  it realistically could handle.
            sengers  should  not  foot  trol outages.                 ployees  than  before  the  might have paid to the air-   The  Transportation  Depart-
            the bill,” Buttigieg said in a  “Carriers  have  taken  re-  pandemic,  according  to  line, such as fees for check-  ment says it is working with
            statement.  Airline-caused  sponsibility  for  challenges  Transportation Department  ing a bag or getting a seat  the airlines to reduce can-
            cancellations include flights  within  their  control  and  figures.                   assignment.  Airlines  often  cellations  and  delays  this
            scrubbed  for  mechanical  continue working diligently  There  is  no  certainty  if  or  try to persuade consumers  summer,  when  air  travel
            issues with the plane or lack  to  improve  operational  re-  when  the  Transportation  to accept a travel voucher  could exceed pre-corona-
            of a crew.                   liability,”  including  hiring  Department  might  pub-   instead of a refund.         virus pandemic records. q

            U.S. backs study of safe injection sites, overdose prevention

            By CARLA K. JOHNSON          costs and to gauge poten-    about  overdose  preven-     Nevada  and  New  Mexico  vetoed  safe  injection  site
            AP Medical Writer            tial  savings  for  the  health  tion  centers,  but  ultimate-  have  considered  allow-  bills last year, and Pennsyl-
            For  the  first  time,  the  U.S.  care  and  criminal  justice  ly, we need data to see if  ing  them.  The  governors  vania’s  Senate  last  week
            government  will  pay  for  systems. The universities an-  they  are  working  or  not,  of  California  and  Vermont  voted for a ban on them.q
            a  large  study  measuring  nounced  the  grant  Mon-     and what impact they may
            whether  overdoses  can  day. The money will not be  have  on  the  community,”
            be prevented by so-called  used  to  operate  the  sites,  said  Dr.  Nora  Volkow,  di-
            safe  injection  sites,  places  the universities said.   rector of the National Insti-
            where people can use her-    With  U.S.  drug  overdose  tute on Drug Abuse, which
            oin  and  other  illegal  drugs  deaths  reaching  nearly  awarded the grant.
            and be revived if they take  107,000  in  2021,  supporters  Sites  operate  in  14  coun-
            too much.                    contend safe injection sites,  tries,  including  Canada,
            The  grant  provides  more  also  called  overdose  pre-  Australia  and  France,  ac-
            than  $5  million  over  four  ventions centers, can save  cording to the  Drug Policy
            years  to  New  York  Univer-  lives  and  connect  people  Alliance,  a  group  working
            sity and Brown University to  with  addiction  treatment,  for  decriminalization  and
            study two sites in New York  mental health services and  safe drug use policies.
            City and one opening next  medical care.                  In  the  U.S.,  New  York  City
            year in Providence, Rhode  Opponents  worry  the  sites  opened  the  first  publicly
            Island.                      encourage  drug  use  and  recognized  safe  injection
            Researchers hope to enroll  that  they  will  lead  to  the  site  in  2021  and  Rhode  Is-  Brian  Hackel,  right,  an  overdose  prevention  specialist,  helps
                                                                                                   Steven Baez, a client suffering addiction, find a vein to inject
            1,000  adult  drug  users  to  deterioration  of  surround-  land became the first state   intravenous  drugs  at  an  overdose  prevention  center,  OnPoint
            study  the  sites’  effects  on  ing neighborhoods.       to authorize them that year.  NYC, in New York, Feb. 18, 2022.
            overdoses, to estimate their  “There is a lot of discussion  States  including  Colorado,                                      Associated Press
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