We have partnered with Travel Leaders to bring you some useful information about what right your rights are when you travel by air.
Many travelers have had to cope with at least one of these situations: Their flight is delayed, overbooked or canceled. Of course, our clients should know that we’re always watching out for them, and we can assist in getting on another flight or booking a hotel room if necessary. But it’s also important for travelers to know what rights they have – and don’t have – in these cases.
Delays and Cancellations
The law does not require airlines to compensate passengers if a domestic flight is delayed or canceled, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. However, each airline has its own policy regarding what, if anything, it will do for customers. For example, some carries may offer compensation in the form of meal or hotel vouchers. So it’s always good to ask.
In the case of overbooking, Federal law comes into play. Before bumping anyone off a flight involuntarily, airlines are required to ask for volunteers to give up their seats in exchange for compensation. If there aren’t enough passengers willing to do so, the airline may bump people based on criteria such as check-in time, fare or frequent-flier status. Passengers whose arrival at their destination is delayed by one to two hours (or one to four hours for international flights) must receive compensation of 200% of the one-way far, up to $675. For a delay of more than two hours, (or four hours for international flights) passengers are entitled to 400% of the one-way fare, up to $1,350. In order to get volunteers, airlines are free to offer more money than required.
There are exceptions to the rules. Airlines are not required to issue compensation if a passenger doesn’t fully comply with ticketing and check-in procedures, if the flight is unable to accomodate a passenger because an aircraft with fewer seats is substituted due to operational or safety reasons, or if an aircraft with 60 or fewer seats is unable to accomodate the passenger due to safety reasons. And no compensation is required if the arrival delay is less than an hour.
What If I’m Stuck On The Tarmac?
Passengers who find themselves stuck on the tarmac for an extended period waiting for takeoff should know that they have rights under U.S. law, too. Airlines operating aircraft with 30 or more seats cannot allow them to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours on domestic flights or more than four hours on international flights without giving passengers an opportunity to leave the plane. Exceptions are allowed for safety, security and air-traffic control reasons. In additions, airlines must provide adequate food and water, ensure that lavatories are working and notify passengers regarding the status of the delay.
We’re Here To Help!!
At Wander The World, we’ve got your back!! So the next time you find yourself in any of the situations above, give us a call and we’d be more than happy to help you either find another flight or get a hotel in the city you’re delayed in!
The Team at Wander The World