Buttigieg Criticized By Both Parties Amid Southwest Holiday Travel Fiasco

Buttigieg Criticized By Both Parties Amid Southwest Holiday Travel Fiasco: Tens of thousands of Americans are still stranded at airports around the country, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is under pressure and requests from powerful figures across the political spectrum.

Sixty-two percent of Southwest Airlines’ scheduled flights were canceled on Wednesday, and the airline expects to cancel around two-thirds of its remaining flights over the next few days.

Political activists and elected officials from both the GOP and the Democrat parties called on the Department of Transportation to hold the corporation accountable and provide consumers with full refunds and accommodations.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, tweeted on Wednesday that Southwest’s flight delays and cancellations were “beyond outrageous.” “This is a firm that received a $7 billion public bailout and will be paying their wealthy shareholders $428 million in dividends. The Southwest CEO “must be held accountable for his avarice and ineptitude,” according to the Department of Transportation.

On “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg predicted that air travel “is going to get better by the holidays.”

On “The Late Late Show with James Corden” in September, Buttigieg predicted that air travel “is going to get better by the holidays.” The national co-chair of Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign, Nina Turner, attributed the issue to Buttigieg’s exorbitant aspirations for higher office.

She tweeted on Tuesday, “What’s happening with the railroads, airlines & the supply chain is a result of a small city mayor being appointed Secretary of Transportation as a means to pad his resume for President.” “Secretary Buttigieg is an outstanding illustration of messing up,”

Federal regulations must be updated, according to Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, in a statement released on Tuesday.

Cantwell stated that the committee would investigate the reasons behind these disruptions and their effects on consumers. “Many airlines fall short in their efforts to properly inform passengers of flight cancellations. Strong consumer protections, such as an updated consumer refund rule, are due to consumers.

In spite of numerous problems for Americans, Republican leaders have been complaining for more than a year that Buttigieg does not take his job seriously.

While railroad unions attempted to reach an agreement in September to avert a potentially catastrophic strike, Buttigieg was on vacation in Europe. The secretary spent many months of last year on paternity leave with his husband and their two new babies as the nation struggled with supply chain bottlenecks.

Due to travel delays, Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., claimed she almost missed Christmas with her children and chastised the Department of Transportation for its tardy reaction.

On Wednesday, Mace stated on Fox and Friends Morning, “It took four days and hundreds and thousands of cancellations for DOT to finally speak up; the same thing, it took four days for the CEO of Southwest to finally speak up.” “I hope that the government will eventually be more effective and efficient when we are intervening and examining some of these concerns.”

Using taxpayer-funded private jets, Buttigieg has taken at least 18 flights since assuming office, according to a Fox News Digital Report, highlighted by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Az.

Biggs tweeted on Wednesday, “If @USDOT is serious about fixing Southwest’s recent breakdown, it should forbid its boss @SecretaryPete from flying private.” Why was he unaware of these difficulties in advance? Out of touch and arriving late to the game.

On Thursday, July 29, 2021, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg gave a tour of the Seagirt Marine Terminal at the Port of Baltimore.

The House Judiciary GOP tweeted on Tuesday, “Where’s @SecretaryPete? #SouthwestAirlines,” and Buttigieg quickly responded.

Happy morning! The secretary tweeted back, “I’m currently on Capitol Hill, not far from your offices. “We’ll maintain achieving results for passengers by utilizing our agency’s powers and resources. Please be clear if you’re requesting policies to expand those resources; I welcome the discussion.

Before Southwest’s widespread cancellations, Buttigieg received warnings about issues within the airline industry from members of his own party.

Sens. Cantwell, Ed Markey, and Richard Blumenthal, both Democrats from Massachusetts and Connecticut, submitted a comment to the Department of Transportation in November urging it to expedite the process of finalizing a rule so that consumers are properly compensated for cancellations and receive accommodations.

In a letter to Buttigieg in July, Democrats Alex Padilla and Elizabeth Warren also called for regulations to protect customers against cancellations. Letitia James, the Democratic Attorney General of New York, also wrote to Buttigieg about the matter in August.

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