Tips On How To Get Airline Compensation For Flight Delays

By Ashley Henshaw. May 7th 2016

The emotions experienced when dealing with a flight delay can range from slight annoyance to overwhelming stress. While a short delay of an hour or two may not be too much of a hassle, there are often longer delays that can seriously disrupt your plans. In addition to potentially missing connecting flights, a delay in travel can also cause you serious financial loss when it comes to booked hotel rooms, rental cars, tickets and events. Read on to find out how to get compensation for those losses the next time you experience a major flight delay.

Switch To A Cheaper Flight

Once you find out that your flight is delayed, ask your airline if they’ll provide you with a refund or an airline credit if you switch to another flight. In some cases, you can ask the airline about these policies when you book your flight. If they allow it, try to find a cheaper flight to your destination. You could end up saving a lot of money thanks to last-minute flight deals if your airline will provide you with a refund.

Ask About Vouchers

Vouchers are one of the best ways to ensure that you aren’t losing money when you experience a flight delay. Many airlines offer these for longer delays, especially when they cause a customer to wait until the next day for a flight. Vouchers are typically given out for food and for hotel stays to cover your costs while you wait for a flight. If you have to take a cab or rent a car, ask for vouchers for those costs too. If the airline doesn’t offer vouchers, keep receipts for all the expenses you incurred while waiting for your flight. You can always file a complaint with the airline later and request reimbursement.

Ask About Other Bonuses

In addition to vouchers, some airlines offer other perks to customers who are stuck waiting because of a flight delay. This is their way of ensuring that customers feel taken care of and will still want to use the airline despite the travel setbacks. These perks could include airline points, airline miles or a voucher to use towards a future flight.

Get Refunds On Bags

If you checked a bag and then your flight got delayed, there’s a chance that it could get lost if you have to switch to another plane. If the luggage is completely lost and never shows up, the airline is required to compensate you for the bag fees. If the luggage is delayed, no refund is guaranteed but you can try asking for a refund on baggage fees, points, miles, vouchers or some other type of compensation.

Get On Their Good Side

Throughout all of these encounters as you look for compensation, it’s important to keep in mind that your approach could affect what benefits you receive. Most airlines are not required to provide any type of compensation for flight delays, so it’s important that you don’t fly off the handle or take your anger out on an employee. Avoid threatening them by saying you’ll never fly their airline again. Instead, remind them of your loyalty to their airline and how often you travel with them. Also, keep your temper under control and don’t take your dissatisfaction out on airline employees who have no control over flight delays anyway.

Tips For Avoiding Delays When You Book

In addition to the tips above, there are also a few steps you can take before booking to help prevent a flight delay situation before your travel even begins. This could save you from the hassle of trying to reschedule a flight and getting compensation from the airline. Here are some steps you can take while booking your flight to minimize the chances of experiencing a flight delay:

  • Book a morning flight. Flights that occur later in the day are more likely to have been pushed back from the ripple effect of any delays that occurred in the morning.
  • Choose an airline with lots of flights to your destination. If they have just one or two flights per day to where you need to go, that increases the chance of a significant delay. Selecting an airline that flies to your destination many times per day ensures that there will be lots of other flights available should your flight be delayed.
  • Plan to arrive with plenty of time before you need to be anywhere. Avoid planning events or appointments within a few hours of when you expect to land. Even a slight delay could cause you to miss them.
  • Be smart when booking connection flights. Choose connection flights in less congested airports, and make sure you have plenty of time to get from one flight to the next.

Flight delays are a hassle no matter what. However, with these tips you may be able to save yourself some money and get extra perks while you’re at it.

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