What to Expect if your Flight is cancelled
Nothing can be more frustrating than missing your flight, especially if it is not your fault. Whenever you book a flight, please make sure you read the fine print before booking! This will ensure that you know your flight rights and will not be screwed over when you get to the ticket counter.
You paid a bunch of money to travel for work or to visit loved ones, however it is not your fault. Thousands of people miss their flight on a daily basis. Know this first, whenever you book a flight, your trip is never guaranteed. There are several reasons why your flight may be cancelled or delayed.
For example, security issues, airline union strike, unexpected weather, crew out of time, lack of passengers, lack of crew or space, lack of aircraft, pilot is unfit to fly or mechanical issues. The DOT states that if a flight is cancelled for any reason and the customer chooses not to be rebooked to another flight, than the customer is entitled to a full refund. The DOT states that depending on the circumstances, accept the refund and rebook at your convenience. Keep in mind that you are able to ask for the next available seat at the ticket counter. There may be passengers who do not check in on time, therefore it is crucial that you ask for assistance at the ticket counter to ensure your seat on that flight.
Many airlines do not care if your flight was delayed which led up to missing your initial or connection flight. Based on experience, I was set to fly from Alicante, Spain to Madrid, Spain—a simple 1 hour flight—however, the flight from Alicante Airport to Madrid Airport was delayed therefore I missed my connection flight in Madrid. I find my way to the ticket counter in order to sort out this issue, however there are no more flights out of Madrid until the following morning. I am now stuck at the airport in Madrid. Long story short, most airlines will compensate with a free shuttle, hotel, and meal voucher for the inconvenience. However, it is not all luxury, expect to wait a few hour to check in to your fixed hotel, and then you may enjoy your comfortable bed and that complementarywine!
Keep in mind that you can always visit the ticket counter to evaluate your options! Below are some other options:
Based on cancellations, you have two main rights:
- A seat on your original ticketed airline’s next available flight
- A full refund of the unused ticket portion.
According to section code, EC 261, all cancelled flights are entitled to either a full or partial refund of your purchased ticket, with s return flight to your original departure point, if needed, as well as an earliest alternative flight to your final destination. Your new ticket to the final destination can be found at the nearest box office.
You may also apply for Compensation
According to the United States Government, there are a few occasions that may be acceptable for airline compensation. This may be involuntary, however, it can happen. This includes denied boarding (bumping a passenger from an oversold flight).
You may also receive compensation as a drink or meal voucher. Keep in mind that you will have to remain flexible. This means that you should avoid checking any luggage; this will ensure that all your belongings will remain together. Also, Try to reduce the likelihood of any travel disruptions by removing your laptops, electronics, electronic cigarettes and Apple watches in order for the security process to move smoothly.
Keep in mind that most airlines promise many forms of assistance but many do not provide assistance due to bad weather or some other maintenance issue. It is important to contact your airline or read the fine print before booking to ensure there will be no issue.
If you purchased traveler’s insurance with your ticket, good for you! Traveler’s insurance is a great way to protect your ticket! Make sure to have your receipt handy in order for your agent to assist you quickly.
Here are a few things to remember:
- In general, regardless of the cause, when your airline cancels your flight, your have a right to 100% refund of the value of your ticket.
- Refunds are given in the same form as purchased (ie. Cash, credit or debit card).
- Many airlines only offer the next available seat on their own airline.
- Some airlines may transfer you to another airline (or via ground transport) in order to guarantee you to your destination.
All in all, please be aware that most airlines have their own agenda, therefore, in routine cancellations; you have 4 options listed above.
Can I Get a Refund?
- Yes, you may receive a refund if your flight was delayed by more than 5 hours and you do not wish to reschedule.
- Yes, you may receive a refund if your flight was cancelled less than 2 weeks (14 days) before your scheduled flight or arrival.
- Yes, you may receive a refund if the alternative flight does not suite your original plans.
Many times these issues are out of your control, therefore it is important to stay proactive and speak to a representative at your earliest convenience.
Due to the Corona Virus, there may be many unexpected flight delays or cancellations.
In order to prevent further cancellations and/or delays, please refer to your airline for more information.
Based on the information provided, Let us know if you have any questions.