Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg isn’t doing enough to solve the aviation crisis affecting thousands of Americans this holiday season, some former pilots and aviation experts say the former mayor has stated that he was “unfit” for the position.
Thousands of holiday flights canceled, hundreds of bags lost, massive backlash against airlines, Department of Transportation (DOT) and rumored 2024 Democratic presidential nominee Buttigieg in the past week caused
Aviation journalist Bill McGee told Fox News Digital that the DOT was not doing enough to provide needed customer care to travelers stranded as a result of the crisis.
“Secretary Buttigieg had ample opportunity to use his authority to address unfair and deceptive practices by airlines, but instead chose not to use that authority. DOT It’s long gone for others to provide consumer protection that others don’t,” McGee said. he told Fox News Digital.
The Southwest Nightmare: Travel Experts Analyze Causes of Flight Cancellations
Former Ohio Senator Nina Turner, who co-chaired Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, said the flight crisis was a result of Buttigieg’s attempt to use his position as Secretary of Transportation to fill his resume. even suggested.
“What’s happening to railroads, airlines and supply chains is the result of a small mayor becoming Secretary of Transportation as a way to fill out a presidential resume,” Turner wrote on Twitter. He has not made any official announcements about whether he will run for president.
Thousands of flights have been canceled across the country, most notably Southwest Airlines, as severe winter storms swept across the country.
More than 160 flights have been canceled at Los Angeles International Airport in the past few days alone, according to Fox 11, with Southwest Airlines canceling 106 of them.
Aviation attorney and pilot Sal Lagonia said it was “unforgivable” that the recent flight cancellations were affecting thousands of American travelers.
“Frankly, they are indefensible. Initially, the weather was just one of many reasons. The lack of upgraded systems is unacceptable,” he said in an exclusive statement.
While blaming Southwest Airlines for its mismanagement, the pilots blamed the air travel disruptions on the DOT and Buttigieg. Buttigieg said in September that the plight of summer air travel “will get better by the holidays.”
Buttigieg Comes Under Attack From Both Parties During Southwest Holiday TRVAEL FIASCO
“Buttigieg is missing again,” Lagonia said. “As with other examples, such as ships unloaded in the Pacific, Buttigieg cannot or is willing to do all he can to address these issues, which are an important factor for his department. It shows no… competent leadership.”
“My reaction is, of course, it’s not that big of a surprise when it comes to the Southwest. The mess represents the biggest airline computer meltdown I’ve ever seen. This problem It’s firmly rooted in the Southwest.I don’t know if the secretary can really do it.It helps a lot at this point,” said Rob Mark. Pilot and flight instructor, CEO of CommAvia.
Despite Buttigieg facing a huge backlash from the public, Mark blames Southwest Airlines and its inability to schedule and manage flights properly.
“I don’t think the big question is whether SWA will replace software to prevent another meltdown. It’s about how we handle 1,000 passengers.”
JP Tristiani, a former helicopter pilot, a graduate of the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School, and a longtime aviation expert, said Southwest Airlines had the right tools to avoid the situation. “Completely failed in the snowstorms we faced along the route. Crew and air conditioning stuck ‘somewhere’… Other airlines, majors, may have done better with reduced snow exposure.” You may have a computer. ”
Tristiani said of Buttigieg, “In the opinion of my still active pilots, he is ‘inappropriate’,” highlighting the Secretary of Transportation’s proposal for more controls and penalties for airlines. did. “Governmental administration, airlines and labor unions other than the FAA will never benefit from air travellers, air route systems, equipment, crew training, scheduling knowledge, such computer state-of-the-art, etc. .”
Buttigieg did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment, but made several statements over the past few days regarding the massive flight cancellations.
“USDOT is conducting an investigation and is enforcing its customer service standards,” Buttigieg wrote of the investigation into the Southwest in a Twitter post on Thursday.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Southwest Airlines also issued several apology statements following the flight disaster, pledging to address the failure, refund customers, and resume scheduled flights on Friday.