Barack Obama photo

The President's Weekly Address

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 really nice 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 hard-working folks—from pilots and flight attendants to ticket agents and baggage handlers—all 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 8 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 should not 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 of 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, some big and some small, that can make your life a little bit better.

Thanks, everybody. Have a great weekend.

NOTE: The address was recorded at approximately 2:05 p.m. on October 21 in the Roosevelt Room at the White House for broadcast on October 22. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on October 21, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on October 22. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of this address.

Barack Obama, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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