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Delayed or Canceled Flight? Here’s What To Do

AuthorLorne St. Clair

Is your airline refusing to compensate you for a disrupted flight? How do you know if you’re entitled to compensation? What happens if you miss your connecting flight? And what exactly is an ‘extraordinary circumstance’?

Standing Up for Your Rights

The first step in standing up for your rights is knowing what they are. Whether it’s flight delays, cancellations or overbooking, you may be entitled to compensation and a whole lot more.

We know that if you’re reading this it’s likely because you’re experiencing a disrupted journey. Flight delays and cancelations happen, and we’re here to teach you what to do next.

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Pick one of the scenarios below to jump straight to the relevant section.

Delayed Flights

What to do if your flight’s been delayed in the EU

Flight delays happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept them. We can tell you what your air passenger rights are when your travel plans don’t go as scheduled.

  1. Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents
  2. Ask why the flight is delayed
  3. Make a note of the actual arrival time at your final destination
  4. Ask the airline to pay for your meals and refreshments
  5. Don’t sign anything or accept any offers that may waive your rights
  6. Choose to wait it out or call it off if your delay is more than 5 hours
  7. Get the airline to provide you with a hotel room
  8. Keep your receipts
  9. >>> See if your flight is eligible for compensation

What to do if your flight’s been delayed in the US

  1. Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents
  2. Request food, water, and bathroom breaks during long tarmac delays
  3. Negotiate with the airline for compensation for your inconvenience

What to do if your international flight’s been delayed

  1. Hold onto your boarding pass
  2. Ask why the flight is delayed
  3. Keep your receipts if your delay ends up costing you extra money

 

Canceled Flights

What to do if your flight’s been canceled in the EU

Flight cancellations can bring your travel plans to a standstill. Make sure you know what your passenger rights are, and keep your journey moving forward.

  1. Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents
  2. Ask why the flight was canceled
  3. Request an alternate flight to your destination or a refund
  4. Make a note of the arrival time at your final destination
  5. Ask the airline to pay for your meals and refreshments
  6. Don’t sign anything or accept any offers that may waive your rights
  7. Get the airline to provide you with a hotel room
  8. Keep your receipts if your canceled flight ends up costing you extra money
  9. >>> See if your flight is eligible for compensation

What to do if your flight’s been canceled in the US

Unfortunately, travelers on domestic flights within the United States don’t have many rights when it comes to cancellations, but here are a few pointers to follow.

  1. Hold onto your boarding pass
  2. Request an alternate flight to your destination
  3. Negotiate with the airline for compensation for your inconvenience

What to do if your international flight’s been canceled

Passengers on international flights can claim reimbursement for expenses due to flight cancellations if they follow a few simple steps.

  1. Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents
  2. Ask why the flight was canceled
  3. Request an alternate flight to your destination

Denied Boarding

What to do if you’ve been denied boarding in the EU

For passengers on flights to or from the European Union, here’s what to do when you’re not allowed to board your flight:

  1. Do not volunteer to give up your seat in exchange for vouchers or perks
  2. Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents
  3. Ask why you’ve been denied boarding
  4. Request an alternate flight to your destination
  5. Request compensation for your boarding denial
  6. Ask the airline to cover your meals and refreshments
  7. Get the airline to provide you with a hotel room
  8. Keep your receipts if your boarding denial ends up costing you extra money
  9. >>> See if your boarding denial is eligible for compensation

What to do if you’ve been denied boarding in the US

If travelers on US domestic flights are “bumped” due to an overbooked flight, they may be entitled to compensation. Here’s what to do if it happens to you:

  1. Do not volunteer to give up your seat in exchange for vouchers or perks
  2. Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents
  3. Ask why you’ve been denied boarding
  4. Request an alternate flight to your destination
  5. Request compensation for your boarding denial
  6. >>> See if your boarding denial is eligible for compensation

What to do if you’ve been denied boarding on a non-EU international flight

Passengers on international flights can claim reimbursement for expenses due to boarding denials if they follow a few simple steps:

  1. Do not volunteer to give up your seat in exchange for vouchers or perks
  2. Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents
  3. Ask why you’re being denied boarding
  4. Request an alternate flight to your destination
  5. Keep your receipts if your boarding denial ends up costing you extra money

 

Flight delays happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept them. You may be entitled to as much as $680 in compensation if your flight was delayed, canceled or overbooked within the last three years.

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