Due to the winter storms that have greatly affected the United States during the holidays, over 6,000 flights have been canceled and an even greater number have been delayed. Given that this is the biggest Christmas travel season since 2019, hundreds of thousands of travelers are stuck, delayed, and redirected.
The Aviation consumer protection website of the U.S. Department of Transportation explicitly states that customers are entitled to a full refund, not a voucher if their flight is canceled and they decide not to go. The government’s policy for flight cancellations includes inclement weather, pilot shortages, technical problems, and several other causes. Even if you purchased a basic economy or non-refundable ticket, the government’s rigorous regulation requires that you get a full refund.
If your flight is canceled, it is the responsibility of the airline to rebook you on the next available flight. This rebooking procedure is mostly automated and may occur within minutes of your flight being canceled. If your flight was not automatically rebooked and you received a cancelation notification, follow the rebooking instructions in the text or email.
- If you are already at the airport when your flight is canceled and you are not immediately rebooked or unable to contact your airline, agents will be rebooking passengers at the airport’s customer service desk.
- If they have no more tickets available, airlines such as Alaska, Delta, and American Airlines would even book you on a partner airline for your journey.
- If you must stay overnight due to a flight cancellation, airlines will give you hotel vouchers and shuttle or transportation coupons to your hotel.
- You are also entitled to food vouchers if the cancellation has caused a delay of more than three hours.
- Some airlines, like JetBlue, provide extra credits for delays. Depending on the duration of the delay, customers are entitled to a $50-$200 reimbursement if the flight delay is announced before boarding. If the delay occurs after boarding, the credit ranges from $100 to $250, depending on the duration.
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