What to do if your flight gets canceled

The Better Business Bureau shares some tips for traveling during the holiday season.
If your flight is canceled, there may be some options to redeem compensation or a refund.
Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 11:48 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 29, 2022 at 5:17 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - If your flight is canceled, there may be some options to redeem compensation or a refund. The Better Business Bureau is providing some guidance to travelers dealing with the headache of holiday airline cancellations.

Typically, domestic airlines will try to rebook passengers on the next available flight, even if its with a different carrier. When a consumer is flying domestically in the United States, rules regarding flight delays and cancellations are overseen by the US Department of Transportation. In general, there are no U.S. federal laws requiring airlines to provide passengers with compensation for a delayed flight. If a flight was canceled or significantly delayed within the company’s scope of control, airlines may have their own policies.

Getting a refund

When flights are canceled by the airline, consumers are entitled to a full refund. This includes a refund of any bag fees or extras, such as additional legroom, for a seat. If the airline offers a voucher in lieu of a refund, ask about expiration and blackout dates. Airlines may also have additional restrictions on the use of vouchers. Consumers are not obligated to accept vouchers and may insist on a full refund instead. If the trip was canceled by the consumer, however, they may not be entitled to a full refund.

Review credit card terms

If you’re a consumer that purchased the flight with an airline travel credit card that offers additional benefits, you may have a better chance at getting your money back and can find what your options are by reviewing the cardholder agreement and the airline policy. Purchasing tickets with an airline credit card may offer trip protection or travelers insurance.

Keep your receipts

While federal regulations don’t require airlines to reimburse expenses such as hotel rooms or meals in the event a flight is canceled or severely delayed, the carrier and credit card companies may have different policies. Consumers should keep receipts for extra purchases, like a hotel room, so they can submit them to their airline or credit card company for reimbursement later.

Check the carrier’s website

Most airlines allow consumers to initiate refunds directly on the carrier’s website. Using a website may help a consumer obtain a refund or rebook a trip much faster than waiting for a consumer service agent in person or on the phone.

Flying internationally?

Flights that were canceled while in another country will be affected by the laws of that nation. Check with the local country’s department of transportation while traveling internationally.

For the latest information, BBB recommends consumers visit BBB.org

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