NATIONAL (SNN TV) - What do passengers deserve if delays turn disastrous? 

Passengers like Pam Shelby were left heartbroken after the 2022 holiday travel meltdown after being stranded by Southwest. 

"I wanted to visit my family. But, there's nothing I can do about it," Shelby said in December.

President Biden is proposing a federal rule change that would compensate passengers for delays and cancellations caused by the airlines. It could take effect by the end of this year. 

Already in the European Union, passengers can receive up to $663 for significant delays. 

"Guess what? It works," Biden says, "One study found that [once] the European Union required airlines to compensate passengers for flight delays, the number of flight delays went down." 

Right now, ten U.S.-based carriers cover the cost of meals for passengers and nine cover the cost of hotels if delays or cancellations are caused by the airlines. But they do so voluntarily and can stop at anytime. 

Brian Sumers, founder and editor of the Airline Observer, says Biden's proposal could be stronger. 

"He didn't necessarily say you'd get a cash payment as you do in the European Union. You could get a travel credit or even frequent flyer miles," Sumers says.

Mary Schiavo, a former U.S. Department Of Transportation Inspector General, says this signals a reversal of airline de-regulation which ushered in an era of misery. 

"Remember, the tax payers of the United States own the airways. We own the runways. We own the airports. The airlines do not own those. I think this piecemeal regulation says we need to re-regulate in a grand scale with a coherent and transparent United States transportation policy," Schiavo says.