Left-leaning Democrats have soured on Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in response to the mass flight cancelations during the holiday season despite his promise to fix the problem back in September of this year.
In a tweet on Thursday, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), one of the few Democrats who criticized Twitter’s decision to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story, publicly scolded Buttigieg for not sticking to his pledge to hold airlines accountable.
“Nearly six months ago @BernieSanders & I called for Buttigieg to implement fines & penalties on airlines for cancelling flights. Why were these recommendations not followed?” the congressman tweeted. “This mess with Southwest could have been avoided. We need bold action.”
In September, roughly a week after Buttigieg received a bipartisan letter from 38 state attorneys general across the country demanding his department do more to fix the problem, the transportation secretary said the situation would improve come Christmas, when comedian James Corden pressed him on the topic:
The good news is people are going back to the skies. They have the income. They have the inclination. We’ve put off holidays, we’ve put off trips for two years, we’re finally doing it again, which is great. But, we need to make sure that the system is ready. If you’ve ever been mistreated by an airline. If they haven’t given you the refund they owe you, if they haven’t lived up to their customer service obligations, we will have your back.
Pete Buttigieg said that the government created a website to hold the airlines accountable, adding that most agreed to refund customers in the event of a flight cancellation as well as provide hotels and meal vouchers.