Blake Walsh, travel expert at Travel Lens has commented on the steps passengers should take if their flight is delayed and whether they’re entitled to compensation: “Facing the prospect of a delayed flight can leave my passengers feeling frustrated and anxious, so it’s important to understand how you should approach the situation if you were to discover your upcoming flight is going to be delayed for a long period of time.”
“In most cases, a flight will only be delayed for a short period of time but if you are facing long delays, then you could be entitled to compensation, but it’s not as straightforward as what it might sound. Firstly, before you can start the process of securing compensation, there are a number of factors you need to consider, such as the length of the delay, the distance of your flight and the airline you’re traveling with.”
“For example, if you are traveling on a domestic flight which has been delayed for between 1 to 2 hours after the original arrival time, you could be entitled to a maximum compensation of $675 and for international flights, the delay time is extended to between 1-4 hours. This is only a guideline and as previously mentioned, there are a number of factors to consider before being awarded compensation, but it’s important to know that passengers do have certain rights if their flight is delayed.”
Below are five tips from Travel Lens on what to do if you face a flight delay.
If you’re able to speak to a representative of the airline at the airport then great, but in some cases, it’s more efficient to ring the customer service team. The staff members at the airport will have a flight load of people to try and accommodate for and they will only be able to do so much, so ringing the customer service line could prove to be quicker and more beneficial to you.
Sadly, not all customer service teams are as helpful as they should be and getting in touch with them via a phone call isn’t always easy. Airlines value their reputation on social media and platforms like Twitter are a great way to get in contact with an employee. If you do use Twitter to reach out, then it’s important to remain polite and calm as this will work in your favor.
If your flight is delayed for a long period of time, then it’s worth checking your insurance policy. Not all policies will cover flight disruption, but most will, so it’s worth reading your policy in detail as you may be covered and not have to potentially pay out for an alternative method of transport or accommodation, which may be the case for a passenger with no insurance.
If your flight is delayed for a certain amount of time then the majority of airlines are expected to re-book you onto an upcoming flight, but in some cases, you’re entitled to more than just a new flight ticket. It’s important to understand your rights as you may be able to claim back expenses for food and drink, as well as accommodation as a result of the delayed flight, so be sure to keep hold of any receipts you have.
If you notice your flight has been delayed before you get to the airport, then it’s wise to leave early so you can get to the check-in desk and try and secure an alternative flight. Most people traveling on the same flight will want an alternative flight as soon as possible, but it’s unlikely that all passengers will be accommodated for, so it’s best to arrive early to ensure you have the best chance of being given an alternative ticket.