It’s more common than you might think to find yourself suffering from a sudden flight delay or cancellation when you thought your travel experience was going smoothly. Unfortunately, no matter how carefully you prepare for your trip, there’s always a chance that something will happen beyond your control that prevents you from taking to the tarmac on time.
If you’re starting to wonder what your airlines are hiding from you, then it could be time to start thinking about airport delay secrets, and how you can prepare yourself for getting the compensation that you deserve. Here are just some of the things that your airlines might not be telling you.
1. You Can Still Get Compensation if You Go on a Different Flight
Imagine that your airline tells you that you’ve been bumped out of your original flight because they overbooked the seats. If you suffer from a small delay, but your airline still gets you where you wanted to go within an hour of your original arrival time, there’s a good chance that you won’t bother with a complaint.
However, if you arrive a few hours after your original arrival time, even though you were given an alternative flight, then you could be owed compensation for your travel. You should consider speaking to the airline, or a professional advice service after you touch down to find out what you’re eligible for.
2. You Can Get a Seat on a Competitor Flight
If your flight was delayed or canceled, and your airline can’t simply move you onto another plane in their portfolio, then they could always book you onto an alternative flight from a different airline, and pay the difference of the seat for you. The only thing to remember is that most gate agents don’t have the time to scour the internet looking for a new seat on your behalf.
If you have nothing else to do but sit and wait around for a solution, you could always try finding your own seat on a competing airline instead. That way you can make suggestions on how the airline can help you, and potentially save yourself some time. While your airline might not be able to simply book you onto any flight, they will do what they can to help.
3. Non-Refundable Things Can Become Refundable
The rules surrounding compensation, delays, and canceled flights can be complicated because it’s important to remember that your airline won’t always be responsible for the time that you lose. For instance, if a plane simply can’t fly in certain weather, then there’s nothing that you or the airline can do about it. However, if you can prove that the airline is at fault, then you might be able to earn compensation for your missed flight, particularly if the delay lasts longer than a couple of hours.
Sometimes, you can get a full refund on a non-refundable fare, so you can go on a different flight without worrying about cash. Additionally, other fees can become refundable too. For instance, if you paid extra to check your bag or get some extra legroom, you should mention this when you’re negotiating for a replacement flight, so your airline knows exactly how much they owe you for the frustrating experience you’re facing.
EU Rules and US Rules are Different
In the United States, the kind of compensation that you’re entitled to when a flight is delayed or canceled can vary according to the airline that you choose to fly with. On the other hand, Europeans have a significant set of rules in place that are designed to benefit the public in the case of an emergency flight cancellation or delay. If you’re on a flight to Europe, then you might be entitled to more compensation than you would be entitled to in the US.
Essentially, the rules in Europe dictate that if your flight is canceled due to something that the airline is responsible for, then they should be required by law to compensate you, feed you, and more. You should receive a full refund for your canceled flight, and the EU has a range of delay-based compensation guidelines that you should be aware of too.
If your flight is delayed and you don’t have much to do in the meantime while you’re waiting for a resolution, you could always try googling the rules and regulations for the destination you’re in, or the place you’re going to, to learn more about how things like refunds and compensation are calculated.