Fliers still face delays, canceled flights: What are your rights?

Diane Wilson Image
Tuesday, July 4, 2023
What are rights for fliers facing delays and cancellations?
Monday there are more than two thousand flight delays and more than a hundred canceled flights nationwide

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Air travelers continue to get hit hard during the extended holiday weekend. Monday saw more than 2,000 flight delays and more than 100 cancellations nationwide, according to FlightAware.

At Raleigh-Durham International Airport, there are a handful of delays. Srirem Baktha and his family's flight is delayed out of RDU.

"I'm traveling to India tonight. It's going to be a long journey. We don't know how long it will be until I get in and land at JFK. I have no idea how long it be."

He's hoping the delay doesn't make him miss his connection in JFK to get to India.

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"I don't want my flight to be canceled. You know, if this gets canceled, my international gets canceled. Everything is becoming a problem for me and nowadays, the cost is so high, getting you out of that alternate flight is not easy."

Last week weather, technical glitches and staffing shortages caused airlines to cancel or delay more than 45,000 flights.

Fliers on United Airlines were hit the hardest. Now the airline said it will be giving 30,000 frequent flier miles to travelers whose flights were canceled or delayed due to bad weather and the air traffic gridlock last week.

When it comes to your rights if you're impacted by a delay or cancellation, there are no federal laws requiring airlines to provide passengers with any compensation when their flight is delayed.

However depending on what's causing the delay or cancellation, some airlines may offer hotel or meal vouchers, or even compensate you, so it's worth asking.

If your flight is canceled for any reason, the airline must offer you a refund. If they offer you a credit and you don't want it, again you are entitled to a refund.

They are not required to pay for meals or hotel, but ask if they will. If you find an open seat on another airline, you can ask to be transferred, but there's no federal requirement that the original airline put you on that flight or reimburse you if you purchase that other ticket.

You can also check what each airline offers when it comes to a canceled or delayed flight.

Another tip to see if you can get any compensation for a delayed or canceled flight, check if the credit card you used to buy the flight offers any protection. It's always a good idea to buy tickets with a travel credit card, as they typically come with certain benefits.

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The couple bought trip insurance for the extra protection but still went through months of frustration after having to pay $4,500 medical bill.