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How To Get Compensation For Delays And Cancelations From Major U.S. Airlines

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Given the current state of travel in 2022, for frequent flyers it’s unfortunately a case of “when, not if,” when it comes to experiencing delays or flight cancellations. Travelers affected by such occurrences are rightfully due compensation, but claiming that compensation can be a bit of a minefield. With that in mind, here’s a guide on how to get compensation for flight delays and cancellations from major airlines in the U.S. 

American Airlines

According to American Airlines’ website, the airline will endeavour to book passengers on the next flight with available seats in the event of a delay or cancellation. However, passengers are also eligible to request a full refund instead of a change of flights. In order to do so, travelers must head to this website and enter their surname and ticket number in order to begin the process. The website currently states that they are, unsurprisingly, experiencing a high number of refund requests, and that travelers should allow 7 business days for refunds if they paid by credit card.

Delta Air Lines

Like American, Delta also offers a range of alternatives to cash refunds, such as rebooking onto another flight and the value of the affected fare offered as eCredit. However, travelers who have faced a cancellation or a delay of more than two hours can cancel their flight and receive a full refund to their original form of payment. Customers who purchased non-refundable tickets are also eligible for compensation as stated by the Department of Transport. In order to begin their refund process, travelers must head here and enter their trip details.

United Airlines

United’s policy states that in the event of delayed or cancelled flights, travelers may be eligible to request a travel credit or refund for a ticket that would otherwise be nonrefundable or have restrictions on refunds. Travelers may also postpone their trip for a later date without incurring penalties. Refund requests can be initiated here, and could take up to 20 days to process depending on the form of payment used.

Southwest Airlines

Whilst Southwest Airlines’ different fare types and “refundable vs. reusable” classifications can prove confusing, travelers are still eligible for a full refund regardless of the ticket type they purchased in the event of a cancellation or significant delay. Travelers can begin the process for the refund here.

Alaska Airlines

Regardless of ticket types purchased by the customer, Alaska Airlines passengers are within their rights to receive a full cash refund in the event of a cancelled or significantly delayed flight. Whilst alternative flight options may be offered, there is no obligation to accept these, and a refund back to the original source of payment is an option for passengers. In order to start the compensation claim, passengers should head to this page and enter their details. 

JetBlue Airways

Travelers on flights that have been delayed for periods between 61 and 119 minutes may travel on another JetBlue flight on the same day, the day prior, or the day after your original flight at no additional charge, or receive a refund in flight credit. For delays longer than 2 hours, travelers may receive a full refund back to their original form of payment, credit or change their flight. Flights that have been cancelled by the airline provide travelers with the same refund options, which can be applied for here. Passengers on flights cancelled within 4 hours of departure may be due extra compensation – the airline will contact passengers if this is the case. 

Spirit Airlines

As per the Department of Transport regulations, Spirit Airlines is required to offer passengers affected by flight cancellations and significant delays either an alternative flight option or a full refund. In order to begin the process of applying for this compensation, travelers should head to this website and fill in their flight details. Refunds can take up to 20 business days to be completed. 

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North Of The Border – Air Canada

Things are slightly different north of the border, but travelers on Air Canada flights are still entitled to refunds for delayed or cancelled flights. Travelers have the option of a refund if their flight is cancelled or if they are otherwise delayed by more than 3 hours in relation to their original departure or arrival time, or if the airline adds a connection to your itinerary. Travelers can begin the refund process by heading here and entering all of the relevant information. 

Young Male Traveler Arriving To Toronto Pearson International Airport With An Air Canda Sign Blurred In The Background, Toronto, Canada

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Marlene Calderon

Thursday 1st of September 2022

La línea FRONTIER, cambio mi intinerario, yo compré pasajes directos de San Diego a Orlando, viaje redondo. El cambio fue con una parada de 9 horas de ida y una parada de 6 horas de regreso. Lo cual no funciono para mi ya que viajaban 3 niños conmigo. Tuve que cancelar. Si me regresaron el costo del pasaje y me dieron una pequeña compensación, la cual tampoco funcionó, ya que solo me dieron 90 días para comprar nuevos pasajes y no han vuelto a poner vuelos directos, de San Diego a Orlando. Puedo tener alguna compensación por este incidente, ya que para mis nietos fue muy traumático ya que las vacaciones se tuvieron que cancelar.