Flight Delay Compensation Rules: When & When You Don’t Have To Claim For Compensation!

(Last Updated On: March 18, 2019)

Traveling during summer or winter is always a little risky because the storms can cause flight delays, create problems or traffic at the airport. Apart from this, long security lines and keeps adding flights at the airports create the chances of flight delays and cancellations.

But dealing with delayed or canceled flights can save much amount because some airlines minimize the problems and provide the compensation for passengers. So for next travel, be prepared and find out what your rights are if your flight is delayed or canceled.

The following essential tip helps you how to cope up with a flight delay or cancellations  and get home quickly and safely.

When You Do Not Have A Claim

Sometimes you need to speak up and request for compensation, while other times you have to sit patiently and wait for the best situation. Here are times when you should not expect airline compensation:

  • Weather:

The airline does not owe you money or you cannot claim for compensation if weather delays your flight. Nobody can control it. The airline will not take off their plane in a hurricane because it is unsafe.

  • Air Traffic Control Decisions:

The airlines are responsible for making sure that you all get to your home safely. If the runways are too busy for your flight to take off on time, then it is not the airline’s fault.

  • External Equipment Problems:

There are such circumstances like broken baggage claim belts, power out at the airport or other situations where the airline cannot do anything to provide the compensation. These airport equipment and mechanical failures are annoying, but they are out of the airline’s control.

  • Your Schedule:

In this case, the airline owes you anything if you get stuck in traffic and miss your flight. This is true even if your flight time changed. But for that, you should reach the airport at the original time.

When You Do Have A Claim

The airlines are not always making it easy to provide the compensation. But sometimes you are eligible for some compensation. This can be present in the form of vouchers, points, a refund, accommodations or some combination of these options.

All airlines in the USA have to follow some basic rules about delays and cancellations. These include rebooking of canceled flights and paying for accommodations

The USA Department of Transportation provided general airline rules to the passengers. It creates such circumstances where a passenger can deserve the compensation, including lost or delayed luggage and tarmac delays of more than 3 hours. Other circumstances when you might have a flight delay claim:

  • Broken Seats Or Environmental Equipment:

You should not have to sit through a 6-hour flight without functioning A/C. So, this is a situation where you can ask for compensation. Speak up with an airline ask for in-flight entertainment.

  • Delays And Cancellations Due To Airline:

This situation does not include the weather or airport issues. The circumstances that come under this situation are maintenance problems, crew changes, and equipment changes or overbooking that bumps you off your flight. In this case, the airline offers the compensation to their passenger.

  • Poor Service:

Rude service never makes the passenger happy. Such situation occurs if flight attendants are not helping the passengers or anything you know to be unsafe is also not OK. But, you can control these situations by asking for compensation.

Best Airlines For Compensation Claim

Compensation depends on the individual airline beyond all these basic rules of airlines. Most airlines follow similar rules, but some are easier to travel. Here are looks at which airline has the best flight delay compensation rules and rights.  If your flight is delayed or canceled, here’s who you want to be flying with:

  • European Airlines:

Those airlines are operating from and to an EU airport, must compensate their passengers with few Euros. If one of a few things happens, then a flight provides the compensation to their ticketed destination. These things include the denied boarding, canceled or overbooked flights and delays of 5 hours or greater. The airline notifies you within 2 weeks of your departure date as long as the delay or cancelation is not caused by weather.

If the cancellation or delay occurs more than 90 minutes, then the Delta airline offers the refunds. Such situation makes your flight miss. In addition, the airline also offers the rebooking on Delta or other carriers, lodging vouchers, and transportation to accommodations.

The passengers can automatically rebook their next flights to their destination if a Southwest flight is canceled or significantly delayed. OR, the airline offers the refund. For the business class travelers, southwest also has one of the most generous cancellation policies. Before their scheduled departure, passengers can cancel their ticket up to 10 minutes and can apply that fare to another ticket within a year.

  • Alaska Airlines:

The passengers who are more than 100 miles away from home, the airline provides the accommodation when their flight gets canceled. If flights are a delay for more than 2 hours, then passengers are also entitled to a discount off a future flight.

JetBlue is one of the few airlines that do consider weather conditions. The airline waives rebooking fees for changes to flights that were canceled because of storms. Passengers are also automatically entitled to a credit for delayed flights, depending on the length of the delay. The airline even has an online tool that lets passengers check if their flight qualifies for compensation.

General Queries On How To Get Compensation

  • Query 1: When am I entitled to compensation?

The airline will inform you if your flight has been canceled at very short notice. Airlines will normally compensate their passengers for the inconvenience. But, other situations are that the airline does not provide compensation as if the flight was canceled due to a volcanic eruption, a strike or extreme weather.

Another major thing that matters is on which airline you are flying with.

  • Query 2: How do I claim compensation for a delayed or canceled flight?

If you are struggling with the claim, then check the website of the particular airline you are flying with and apply for it.

  • Query 3: Will I get any compensation if I’m waiting at the airport for a new flight?

If you have a new flight ticket and waiting at the airport for over 2 hours, then the airline will provide food and drink vouchers at the airport. But if the delay is outside of the airline’s control, then you can claim on your travel insurance.

  • Query 4: Who pays for my food and accommodation if I have to stay extra days?

Food and accommodation are only by some the airlines. While some airlines should also refund you or try to accommodate you on an alternative flight, they may not provide you with food and drink. You can also try to claim these expenses on your travel insurance.

  • Query 5: What can I expect from my airline if my flight is canceled due to a strike?

The airline will provide the refreshments and accommodation if your flight is a delay because of a strike. In such cases, the airline offers you the assistance if the delay is expected to go beyond a certain point.

But, the airline will not offer compensation in extraordinary circumstances.

  • Query 6: If I miss a connection will a get a refund?

If you have been booked 2 flights on separate airlines and miss the second flight due to the first one being delayed or canceled, then you are not able to get a refund for the second flight.

So, always book your flights with the same airline because it can be beneficial for the long run.

Bottom Line

So, if your flight is canceled, delayed or interrupted or your baggage is lost or delayed or if any other situation arises, then check the insurance provided by your credit card used to buy the tickets. These policies will help you to know when an airline will give you compensation.

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