Compensation for delayed and canceled flights is not a new thing. In fact, in many parts of the world it’s actually a requirement that the airline compensates you when they delay your flight.
However just like any other compensation claim, you will have to ensure that you follow the right procedure to increase your chances of getting the money that you deserve.
To help you identify when you might be entitled to compensation, we have put together the following guide, with tips on how to file your claim and the top airlines that compensate their clients for delayed flights.
5 Airlines That Will Compensate You if Your Flight is Cancelled or Delayed
If Southwest passengers have their flight canceled or delayed for one or more reasons within the airline’s control, the airline allows them to rebook on another flight or if they like, get a refund of their airfare.
Southwest is one of the airlines that gives the most generous compensation in the industry. Another fantastic thing about the carrier is that you can cancel your flight up to 10 minutes before your departure and use the fare on another ticket in a year’s time.
Another airline known to compensate passengers when their flight is canceled or delayed is United.
The United airlines compensation for delay can be determined using their free app or website to check whether your flight qualifies and if it does, they handle the rest.
With Delta, you will be eligible for a refund if your Delta flight is canceled or delayed for more than 90 minutes. However, the cause of the delay or cancellation should be according to their compensation policy.
Delta also offers you rebooking on other Delta flights or other carriers, transportation to accommodation, and lodging vouchers.
Photo credit: Andrés Nieto Porras
If your flight was canceled due to an incoming storm and you had reserved with JetBlue, you can be sure that you will be sorted. JetBlue is one of the few carriers that considers inclement weather as applicable for compensation.
The airline will allow for rebooking without charging any extra fee. Furthermore, passengers for which the flight was delayed can use an online tool to check whether their flight qualifies for compensation depending on the delay.
Alaskan airlines will compensate passengers if their flight is delayed for more than two hours by offering a discount on their future trip.
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They also cater for the accommodation of passengers who stay up to 100 miles away in case of a cancellation.
How to Know if You Have a Claim?
There is no doubt that airlines don’t make it easy for you when you are seeking compensation for a delay or cancellation. But that shouldn’t deter you from lodging a claim.
It’s worth noting that you can be compensated in a number of ways, including a cash refund, airline points, vouchers, accommodations or a combination of these options.
In the United States, the airline passenger bill of rights from the Department of Transportation outlines the situations that qualify for compensation. For example, all airlines have to follow a standard rule should there be delays. These may include catering for the accommodation of the affected passengers and rebooking them for the next flight in line.
The circumstances that will make your claim justified is if the delay was caused by what the airline could control. Such situations include maintenance issues, change of equipment, crew changes or overbooking which may result in your bumping off of your flight.
When Compensation is Not Justified
The fact that you have the right to a compensation in the instance your flight is delayed does not mean that you will get a compensation every time you feel like you deserve one.
There are different factors to be considered, and the following are the times you probably won’t have justification for a claim:
One of the common reasons why flights get delayed is bad weather. And when looked at closely, you will realize that this delay or cancellation is beneficial to you since it is about your safety.
Such situations are beyond the control of the airline, so they don’t compensate you for the delay. The best you can do is sit back and make the best of the situation.
Just because an airline uses the airport, doesn’t mean that they have control over everything that happens there.
Airports have many moving parts, and if one of them fails, there is a high chance that the flights coming in and going out will be delayed. In such cases, don’t expect any compensation from your air carrier.
Air Traffic Control
When you think about it, controlling traffic is no easy task, and if it gets to the level where flights get delayed to control it, then the issue must be big.
So, if the controller downs the flights, there is nothing your airline can do but to comply and delay the flights. As such, you will not be eligible for compensation.
Don’t expect any compensation from an airline if your own personal issues caused you to miss a flight, including a traffic snarl-up on the way to the airport.
Also, it can happen that after an announced delay, the matter is corrected and the plane leaves at the intended time. If this happens you will not receive any compensation.
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