Even after spending countless hours carefully plotting every step of your journey, an unexpected delay or cancellation can derail your well-laid-out vacation plans. But a minor roadblock doesn’t have to result in a travel disaster. Taking a few extra precautions to dodge delays, knowing your air travel rights, and arming yourself with insider tricks can help you stay calm and carry on when anxiety-provoking situations arise. Read on for expert-endorsed tips to maximize comfort (and compensation), and get your plans back on track next time you’re stalled in transit.
The first time you know your flight gets delayed or canceled, you need to find out what the cause is. The flight staff may be reluctant to give the reasons to you, but you should know that as a paying customer, you have all the rights to learn about it. If you don’t get enough information, try to find it on the Internet. Who knows that it’s the whole airport operation that is problematic, like Swissport Africa, for example.
Learn You Air Travel Rights
If your flight is canceled, your carrier will provide you with “a seat on the next available flight on that airline or a refund. While airlines are not obligated to compensate passengers for delays and cancellations based on federal regulations, carriers will often rebook passengers for no additional fee, even for nonrefundable fares – or offer a full refund. Depending on the carrier, you may also be able to get rebooked to your final destination with another airline. Check your carrier’s customer agreement – also known as a contract of carriage – for specific airline policies.
Check Your Protection
Don’t overlook the built-in travel benefits your credit card issuer may provide, says George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com. Immediately file a claim with the airline after your flight is delayed or canceled, he says. Also, keep in mind that with trip interruption coverage, if your flight is delayed for an eligible reason, such as a weather-related delay or a mechanical issue, you may be entitled to compensation.