Weekly Address: President Obama – Taking Action to Spur Competition in the Airline Industry and Give Consumers the Information They Need

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, President Obama highlighted the actions his administration is taking to spur competition in the airline industry, protect consumers and arm them with the information they need to make informed decisions, following the President’s call to action in April. Building on the progress we’ve made so far, this week’s actions include a proposed requirement for airlines to reimburse luggage fees when bags are delayed; requiring airlines to report on the probability that your luggage could be lost; providing protections for travelers with disabilities; and requiring additional transparency and fairness in online ticket platforms. The President highlighted these steps as another example of how government can be a force for good – ensuring that everyday Americans get a fair shake in our economy and have a voice in the conversation. That’s what these actions are about – taking steps, big and small, to better the lives of everyday Americans.

Transcript: WEEKLY ADDRESS: Taking Action to Spur Competition in the Airline Industry and Give Consumers the Information They Need

Remarks of President Barack Obama as Prepared for Delivery
Weekly Address
The White House
October 22, 2016

Hi everybody. I’m going to be honest with you – one of the best parts of being President is having your own plane. And I’m going to miss it. A lot. Because up until I ran for this office, I was mostly flying coach. So I know what a pain the whole process can be – from searching for the best prices to that feeling you get when the baggage carousel stops and yours still hasn’t come out.

Now, our airlines employ a lot of hardworking folks – from pilots and flight attendants to ticket agents and baggage handlers – who take pride in getting us to our destinations safely, and on time. They do good work, and we’re proud of them. But I think we all know that the system can work a little better for everybody.

That’s why, over the last eight years, my Administration has taken some commonsense steps to do just that. We’ve put in place rules that virtually eliminated excessive delays on the tarmac. We’ve required airlines to grant travelers more flexibility on cancellations; to provide refunds to anyone who cancels within 24 hours of purchase; and to give you better compensation if you got bumped off your flight because it was oversold.

And this week, I was proud to build on that progress with even more actions to save you money, create more competition in the marketplace, and make sure that you’re getting what you pay for.

First, we’re proposing refunds for anyone whose bag is delayed – because you shouldn’t have to pay extra for a service you don’t even receive. Second, we’re requiring airlines to report more information on things like how likely it is that you’ll lose your luggage or reach your destination on time. Third, we’re providing more protections for travelers with disabilities. And finally, we’re ramping up transparency requirements for online ticket platforms – so sites can’t privilege one airline over another without you knowing about it.

All of this should help you make better decisions for yourselves and your families – and hopefully avoid a few headaches, too. It’s another example of how government can be a force for good – standing up for consumers; ensuring businesses compete fairly to give you the best services at the best prices; and making sure everyday Americans have a voice in the conversation – not just corporate shareholders. That’s what this is all about – taking steps, big and small, that can make your life a little bit better.

Thanks everybody. Have a great weekend.

Bolding added.



  1. On Thursday, President Obama spoke about the Affordable Care Act as we approach the open enrollment period beginning November 1st and lasting through January 31, 2017.

    Why nothing has been fixed?

    The Affordable Care Act has done what it was designed to do: It gave us affordable health care.

    So what’s the problem? Why is there still such a fuss? Well, part of the problem is the fact that a Democratic President named Barack Obama passed the law. And that’s just the truth. I mean, I worked really, really hard to engage Republicans; took Republican ideas that originally they had praised; said, let’s work together to get this done. And when they just refused to do anything, we said, all right, we’re going to have to do it with Democrats. And that’s what we did.

    Transcript: Remarks by the President on the Affordable Care Act

    Because the Republicans in Congress had no interest in helping to improve the law (they voted to repeal it over 60 times), there are some things that are causing problems. Many of these are easily remedied and a new president and a new Congress, if they are willing to work together, would be able to make the law better.

    From the White House: Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care: Progress and Promise of the Affordable Care Act and Other Administration Efforts

    • From USA Today’s coverage:

      Obama urged Republican governors — in Florida and 18 other states — to expand Medicaid despite a Supreme Court ruling that Congress can’t force states to participate. He argued that the federal government pays most of the tab — more than 90% of the cost of new Medicaid enrollments.

      He proposed expanding the tax credits for people who buy health insurance on state and federal exchanges, using money saved from Medicaid.

      And he pushed for a public option — now re-branded as a “public plan fallback” — that would add a government-run health insurance plan to the list of options offered on federal exchanges. That proposal, he said, is modeled after the Republican-passed Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003.

      “This is not a radical idea,” Obama said. “It was fine when it was their idea.”

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