Do airlines owe you compensation for delays or cancellations?



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Police shoot gunwoman at Dallas Love Field

An armed woman who was dropped off at Dallas Love Field airport was injured by a police officer after opening fire inside the airport on Monday morning, the Dallas Police Chief said. The 37-year-old woman, who has not been identified, was transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. No other injuries were reported.

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Your flight has therefore been delayed or cancelled. Does the airline owe you compensation? A hotel voucher?

A shooting at Dallas Love Field airport on Monday caused cascading delays across the country involving more than 1,000 flights.

Airlines and airports always recommend checking flight status before boarding a trip, but for those stuck, experts have some tips for staying comfortable.

Due to the airline industry’s light regulatory framework, there’s little consolation for U.S. travelers in the event of a disaster — be it bad weather, COVID-19 or other unexpected delays, William said. J. McGee, aviation consultant at Consumer Reports.

“When you’re running an operation as close to the bone as the airlines have, it’s no surprise that everything falls apart,” he said.

Nowadays, managing travel problems requires ingenuity and autonomy.

Get in line. Everywhere.

If you are at the airport when your flight is cancelled, wait in line.

But you don’t have to wait in line at your door, said Andrea Ballard, travel counselor at the Sanders Travel Center in Fort Worth.

“You can talk to any gate agent at your airline and they can help you. This is something that people often don’t know. For example, if you are flying from the United States, an American agent can help you,” Ballard said.

Do your research

While you wait, familiarize yourself with your other flight options.

“It will save you time when you can finally speak to an agent,” Ballard said. “Do a bit of the prep work yourself, because they’re dealing with a hundred clients and you’re only dealing with yours.”

If you find an alternate route with a layover, Ballard recommends checking the weather there as well.

It’s also helpful to check your airline’s contract of carriage, which can often be found on the airline’s website, McGee said.

Although the documents are usually vague and difficult to interpret, they can better inform passengers of what is owed to them by the airline in the event of a delay or cancellation.

Know your rights

As an airline passenger in the United States, your rights are minimal, McGee said.

But here’s one to remember: if an airline cancels your flight, for whatever reason, you are entitled to a refund.

“Not a voucher. A refund,” McGee said.

You are also entitled to a refund in the event of “significant delay”. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Transport does not specify what amounts to a “significant delay”.

Here’s what the Department of Transportation says: “Your right to a refund depends on many factors, including the length of the delay, the length of the flight, and your particular circumstances. DOT determines on a case-by-case basis whether you are eligible for a refund due to a significant delay.

Amenities offered to delayed passengers generally vary by airline. For example, JetBlue offers up to $200 in compensation for flights that are “significantly delayed” for several hours.

Delta will put its passengers in a hotel if they are inconvenienced overnight “due to a delay, connection error or cancellation under Delta’s control,” according to the airline’s website.

Delta, an airline at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, will rebook travelers on an alternate flight or convert their ticket to eCredit for future use in the event of a cancellation or long delay. For non-refundable tickets, Delta travelers can request a refund for any unused portion of their ticket or for unused travel purchases, such as Sky Priority boarding or other select amenities.

American Airlines will also rebook travelers on the next flight with available seats in the event of cancellation or long delay. Depending on the airline, baggage will be rerouted when checking in for your new flight.

American Airlines travelers can view or change their flight in three ways: through the app, the airline’s website, or by using a kiosk at the airport.

When flying with United Airlines, another airline at DFW International Airport, travelers can check their flight or find a new one using the United mobile app, website or kiosk. at the airport.

According to the US Department of Transportation, travelers are entitled to a refund if the airline has canceled a flight for any reason and they choose not to travel. Refunds may also be granted if the airline has made a major schedule change or significantly delayed a flight and the customer chooses not to travel.

The Department for Transport has no clear guidelines on what constitutes a long delay – refunds are issued on a case-by-case basis and depend on the length of the delay, the length of the flight and other specific circumstances.

If you find yourself stranded at the airport, you can ask airline staff to cover the cost of meals and other accommodations, the DOT said. However, not all airlines offer these amenities, and none are required to do so by the federal government. If in doubt, officials said it’s best to contact your airline directly by phone, their mobile app or social media.

Ask for a hotel voucher or visit the lounges

Most airlines have contracts with local or airport hotels, Ballard said. If you’re stuck overnight, ask the agent you’re speaking with if you can get a hotel voucher.

As part of these arrangements, a shuttle will usually be available to transport you between the airport and the hotel.

If you’re delayed for hours and have already cleared security, Ballard recommends finding a comfortable place to wait out the storm.

Most airline lounges offer day passes for around $100.

For those stranded at DFW, Ballard also recommends visiting the Grand Hyatt.

“Even though they are fully booked for the night, their restaurant is beautiful and has great seating. Order yourself a drink and an appetizer and you can sit more comfortably,” she said.

be assertive

“You have to be assertive with the airlines,” McGee said. “You have to invoke the contract of carriage and use their language. Ask them what caused the delay. You have to assert what you want.

Ballard added: “The people who navigate it best are those who go into it with an open and flexible mind.”

Know who to contact

Airline customer service agents can answer your questions, concerns, or assistance with delayed and canceled flights. These are the airline numbers at DFW International Airport.

  • AeroMexico: 1-800-237-6639
  • Air Canada: 1-888-247-2262
  • Air France: 1-800-237-2747
  • Alaska Airlines: 1-800-252-7522
  • American Airlines: 1-800-433-7300
  • Avianca: 1-800-400-8222
  • British Airways: 1-800-247-9297
  • Delta: 1-800-221-1212
  • Emirates: 1-800-777-3999
  • Finnair: 1-844-218-6391
  • Frontier Airlines: 1-801-401-9000
  • Japan Airlines: 1-800-525-3663
  • JetBlue: 1-800-538-2583
  • Korean Air: 1-800-438-5000
  • Lufthansa: 1-800-645-3880
  • QANTAS: 1-800-227-4500
  • Qatar Airways: 1-800-988-6128
  • Spirit Airlines: 1-855-728-3555
  • Sun Country Airlines: 1-651-905-2737
  • Turkish Airlines: 1-800-874-8875
  • United Airlines: 1-800-864-8331
  • Viva Aerobus: 1-888-935-9848
  • Volaris: 1-888-935-9848

Megan Cardona and Tanasia Kenney contributed to this story.

This story was originally published July 25, 2022 5 p.m.

Jess Hardin covers growth and development. After graduating from Georgetown University, she got a Fulbright scholarship to Georgia (the country) and served a brief stint in federal service in whistleblower protection. Jess arrives in Fort Worth after helping launch digital news startup Mahoning Matters following the closure of The Vindicator in Youngstown, Ohio. Send tips to [email protected] or via Twitter to @jesslhardin.

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