With such poor weather these last few months, we here at Joyce, Jackman & Bell Insurors thought it would be a good idea to keep you guys updated on your rights for delayed, cancelled or overbooked flights.
We’re guessing not many of you know the federal rules for tarmac delays. For example, did you know that all US airlines operating domestic flights must allow their passengers to deplane after three hours? The only exceptions would be if safety or security were thought to be an issue - although the recommendations of air traffic control and the pilot are also taken into account.
We know three hours (UGH!) stuck on a plane is no fun, but at least if you are delayed for two hours or more your carrier must provide adequate food and beverage. Lavatories must also remain operable and medical attention must be provided if necessary.
It really isn’t cool when airlines intentionally overbook their flights, but it also isn’t illegal. If you are “bumped” from your flight, don’t worry; the Federal Aviation Administration has got your back.
For starters, the airline must give you a written statement describing your rights as well as their policy for boarding priority and criteria.
Can’t get to your final destination within one hour of your original domestic arrival time? You may be entitles to $400 compensation. That number increases to $800 for international flights that do not get you there within four hours of your original arrival time.
Please note that compensation is dependent on the price of your plane ticket and the length of delay.
Some airlines will try to give you a free ticket for a future flight, but you have the right to demand a check instead.
The same rights apply to cancellations as they do for bumping. One difference however is that you may ask for a full refund, even on a nonrefundable ticket.
Source – Delayed, Cancelled, or Overbooked Flights
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