What Should You Do If Your Flight Is Canceled?

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A flight can be canceled for a variety of reasons, including severe storms and technical difficulties. In some cases, airlines owe compensation to passengers.

Although several hacks can make flying more accessible, and many airports are investing heavily to ensure their flights arrive on time, some factors, such as snowstorms and hurricanes, are beyond their control. Furthermore, a global staff shortage at airports is causing issues for travelers, particularly during the summer.

Each airline has its own set of rules regarding delays and cancellations, but passengers have rights that many are unaware of. As bad as it is to discover their travel plans have already been ruined at the airport, the most important thing is to figure out what to do next.

What Companies Owe Travelers When Flights Are Cancelled

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According to the US Department of Transportation, passengers are entitled to a refund if an airline cancels a flight for any reason and they choose not to fly. However, it does not include any additional expenses that travelers may have incurred, such as meals, hotels, transportation, or car rental.

Travelers can also request a refund if there is a significant delay, but there is no standard definition of what constitutes a significant delay, so the decision is made on a case-by-case basis. The decision is based on the length of the flight, the delay, and other factors. It is recommended to inquire whether the airlines pay for meals and hotel rooms during delays, but they are not required to do so.

Traveling Throughout the European Union

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Travelers within the European Union can also expect a refund if their flight is canceled, thanks to the EU261. If the airline is unable to replace the tickets, customers are entitled to a seven-day refund in cash, bank transfer, or voucher. Travelers are entitled to compensation ranging from €250 to €600 per person, depending on the circumstances.

The EU261 is valid for flights within the European Union and the United Kingdom, as well as flights departing from those countries.

Bumping

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When passengers are forced to give up their seats, the rules are different. It occurs when an airline books more passengers than it has available seats, and it is also known as “involuntarily denied boarding.” Companies are permitted to do so, but they must first ask clients to give up their seats voluntarily.

Giving Up Your Seat Voluntarily

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Before giving up their seats, passengers should be aware of their rights and compensation options, which may include vouchers or cash. If the airline provides a voucher or free tickets as compensation, it must inform passengers of any restrictions on their use. The US Department of Transportation advises travelers to ask the following questions before accepting the offer:

Is the airline responsible for any additional expenses that travelers may incur, such as lodging, transfers, and meals?
Is there a time limit on the ticket or voucher?
Is it possible to use them on vacation?
Can it be used for international flights?

Giving Up Your Seat Unintentionally

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When there aren’t enough volunteers, the airline can decide which passengers will give up their seats based on their own criteria, which can be based on ticket price, check-in time, or passengers’ frequent flyer status. They must, however, present a written document outlining their rights and how they chose the passengers who were bumped.

Travelers who checked in and arrived at their departure gate on time are entitled to a refund if they are bumped. If the airline cannot guarantee that their clients will arrive at their final destination within one hour of their original flight, they owe them money.

The compensation is determined by the ticket price and the length of the delay, and it must be paid to travelers within 24 hours. According to the US Department of Transportation, travelers are entitled to 200 percent of the one-way fare if the delay is between one and two hours, but airlines can limit it to $775 if the amount is higher. If passengers have to wait more than two hours, they are entitled to 400% of the one-way fare. Airlines can set a limit of $1,550 in this case.

The First Thing To Do If Your Trip Is Cancelled

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Before purchasing a ticket, it is always a good idea to check the cancellation policy, as it varies by airline. Many airlines have offices at the airport where passengers can seek assistance, but they frequently have to wait a long time. It is also possible to contact the airlines via social media or phone.

Those who have purchased tickets through a travel agency should contact them directly. It’s also a good idea to get travel insurance when you book your tickets.

Travel Insurance with a Credit Card

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Some credit cards provide travel insurance for travel-related purchases made with their cards, which is extremely useful when there is an airport delay or cancellation. These insurances may cover non-refundable tickets even in the event of unforeseen circumstances, such as weather-related cancellations and expenses incurred as a result of the delay, such as extra meals, car rental, and hotel room.

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