Traveling is one of those things you either look forward to with eager anticipation or dread like the plague.
There is a certain joy that comes with visiting a new place away from your own home, yet the travel delays and cancellations that often occur can make the process quite frustrating to say the least. Since it is a considerable investment to buy plane tickets, you will understandably be concerned about any extra expenses you may incur due to such a cancellation or delay. It does not matter what the reason is, you want to know that something can be done. Here are some general guidelines to consider.
If there is one thing in life that you cannot control, it is the weather. Unfortunately, the airlines cannot control this either. That is why there is no law in America that insists airlines provide compensation to passengers who have a flight delayed or canceled due to the weather. Regardless, it does not hurt to ask. Let the airline know that you have to eat and find a place to stay if you cannot leave right away. In many cases, you will receive compensation in order to keep you as a loyal customer.
Airport Equipment Issues
While you might think that airport equipment is something that airlines can control, they are still probably not willing to provide flight compensation for resulting delays. That being said, you should still ask if you can be compensated for the inconvenience either by getting put onto the next available flight or a refund..
There are times when you actually get on the plane and then do not end up going anywhere. This is referred to as a tarmac delay and it can be one of the most frustrating experiences in travel. Within minor exceptions, airlines in the United States are not permitted to hold passengers on the tarmac for more than three hours. At a minimum, you must be given food and water if you are held for more than two hours.
You might not realize this, but airlines are actually permitted to sell more tickets on a flight than they have seats. This is because they anticipate a certain percentage of passengers not showing up. When this does not happen, overbooking occurs.
In many cases, the problem is solved by people who voluntarily miss the flight in exchange for travel vouchers. If you are involuntarily bumped from a flight, then you are entitled to actual cash for the flight plus the ability to be put on the next available flight.
These are just four of the many reasons why flights today are often cancelled or delayed. It is helpful to know your rights so that you can immediately begin to act on them when one of these unforeseen events happens to you. Do not be afraid to ask questions and politely stand up for your rights. This is how you will be taken care of in the end.