BBB provides tips for handling travel disruptions when flights are delayed or cancelled by carriers

Thousands of vacationers have been stranded, vacation plans have been canceled, and flights have been significantly delayed due to festivities. Some want compensation, others just want to get back on track.

When consumers fly within the United States, rules regarding flight delays and cancellations are overseen by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Generally, there is no US federal law requiring airlines to provide compensation to passengers for flight delays.

Airlines may have their own policies and may offer better benefits when flights are canceled or significantly delayed within the airline’s control.

(Photo from Getty Images, via BBB)

“Consumers are entitled to additional benefits if they purchase flights with a credit card that offers additional travel protection. The cardholder consent form and the airline should be verified,” said the BBB. President Judy Dollison said.

“It’s essential to keep receipts for extra purchases such as hotel rooms, ground transportation, and meals so you can later submit them to the airline or credit card company for reimbursement. Usually just about everything. of domestic airlines will try to accommodate the passenger on the next available flight or, in some cases, on another airline.”

Consumers are always entitled to a full refund if their flight is canceled by the airline. This includes refunds for baggage charges and extras, such as extra legroom on seats. If your airline offers vouchers instead of refunds, ask about expiration dates and blackout dates. Some airlines may have additional restrictions on the use of vouchers. Consumers are not obligated to accept vouchers and may instead request a full refund. However, if a consumer cancels their trip, they may not be entitled to a full refund.

Keep these tips in mind when dealing with travel disruptions:

check the delay – Travelers can check the latest flight information on the airline’s website or on the airline’s telephone reservation system. In most cases, delays do not occur until the day of the flight, and airlines must update flight information within 30 minutes of receiving notification of a status change.

Check carrier and credit card requirements – Federal regulations do not require airlines to reimburse costs such as rooms and meals if a flight is canceled or significantly delayed, but airlines and credit card companies may have different policies. Yes. Purchase your ticket with a credit card that offers travel insurance or traveler insurance and check individual airline policies.

store the document – Keep receipts and records for expenses incurred as a result of significant flight delays or cancellations. These may be required later to recover costs.

Check your carrier’s website – Most airlines allow consumers to initiate refunds directly on the airline’s website. Using the website, consumers can get a refund or rebook travel much faster than waiting for a consumer service representative in person or over the phone.

International flights have different rules – Flights canceled while in another country are subject to the laws of that country. When traveling internationally, check with the country’s transport authority.
for more information.

Be aware of airfare fraud when booking (or rebooking) travel. For more information, read BBB’s tips for traveling safely on vacation.

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