Flight cancelled or delayed? Know your rights before you fly this Thanksgiving holiday

Diane Wilson Image
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Flight cancelled or delayed? Know your rights before you fly
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If your air travel plans this holiday season hit a snag, you'll want to know these tips for getting your money (and sometimes even more) back.

Cancelations, delays and long lines are the main frustrations you should be prepared for if you're flying this Thanksgiving.

There has been no shortage of problems when it comes to air travel the last few months. Experts warn if you're traveling this Thanksgiving holiday, you need to pack your patience and be ready for obstacles.

It's key to know your rights in the event the airline changes your plans. If weather or air traffic delays cancel your flight, the airlines will try and rebook you on the next available flight.

"Your rights are very limited. Really the only obligation they have to you, if you are canceled, they are obligated to give you a refund for the flight that you paid, they are not liable to pay for hotel or expenses," Nick Ewen of The Points Guy said.

If it's mechanical problems, Ewen said airlines should offer food or hotel vouchers, if they don't, you should ask. If you plan to cancel, it sometimes pays to wait until the last minute to cancel.

"If you cancel a flight on your own accord, the airline is only required to give you a voucher for that amount. If you wait and the airline changes the schedule to something that doesn't suit you or they completely cancel then you are eligible for a refund," Ewen said.

When it comes to lost luggage, file a claim right away, get a reference number, make sure you keep your receipts of any purchases.

If you do have a delay or your flight is canceled, depending on what credit card you used, it could benefit you.

"Many popular credit cards provide trip delay and trip cancellation for covered events, so if you use the right credit card you actually may be able to get some of those costs reimbursed by filing a claim after the fact," Ewen said.

The US Department of Transportation's website also lists these rules airlines must follow.