Buttigieg Knew Airlines Would Implode, Did Nothing: Report

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 11:  Chasten Glezman Buttigieg (L) kisses his husband, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, after he delivered a keynote address at the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) 14th annual Las Vegas Gala at Caesars Palace on May 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Buttigieg is the first openly gay candidate to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. The HRC is the largest LGBTQ advocacy group in the United States.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • The recent holiday travel meltdown wasn’t a fluke or a one-off — cancellations will continue because airlines routinely sell tickets for flights they know they may not be able to staff and operate, the chief executive of United Airlines told investors yesterday. The stunning admission from the highest reaches of the airline industry confirms a warning sent by state attorneys general to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg prior to the December travel meltdown.
  • However, Buttigieg — the nation’s top regulator of the airline industry — has not used his power to crack down on the problem, as those state officials have demanded.
  • In unusually candid comments to company investors, United CEO Scott Kirby said ongoing cancellations among competitors are happening because the airlines are advertising schedules they can’t actually fly.
  • “There are a number of airlines who cannot fly their schedules,” he said. “The customers are paying the price. They’re canceling a lot of flights. But they simply can’t fly the schedules today.”

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