Many travelers choose to fly to get to their holiday destinations. But if you have problems, the airlines might just owe you money. ABC7 Chicago is revealing the seven things airlines won’t tell you.
First, passengers have the right to put a fare on hold for 24 hours before you buy the ticket. Many people think they have to buy the ticket immediately when they see a low fare. That is not necessarily true.
If a flight is overbooked and a passenger is bumped off, the airline often patches things up by offering vouchers or frequent flier miles. Passengers actually have the right to cash – up to $1,300 – depending on the length of the delay.
Third, if your flight is severely delayed or cancelled, passengers have the right to get their money back, even on a non-refundable fare. The same applies to a schedule change. If passengers bookend a non-stop flight at 9 a.m. and the airline later puts that person on a 5 a.m. connecting flight, the passenger can say “no thanks” and ask for a refund.
“I always tell people that if you have a fare that you can’t use, pray that the flight is cancelled or there’s a schedule change and ask for refund. In fact, you may want to show up at the airport anyway and pray for a cancellation,” Hobica said.
Passengers on a domestic flight that has been sitting on the taxiway or tarmac for more than three hours have the right to tell the crew to take you back to the terminal and let you off the plane.
If travelers are away from home and their checked bags do not arrive at the destination when they do, they have the right to ask for reasonable replacement of essential items – and not just a toothbrush.
“If you’re traveling on a business trip far from home and you need your suit and it’s in a suitcase, you can actually buy a suit within reason and charge it to the airline,” Hobica said.
International fliers can benefit from the laws of other countries. If a passenger is on a flight from Canada that is delayed more than eight hours, the airline is required to provide a hotel room, meals and airport transportation to the hotel. There is no such law in the United States.
But there are exceptions to several of these laws. If weather is factor, all of the laws above are null and void.