It happens every day, there are thousands of passengers are affected by flight delays. If you’re a frequent flyer, you understand it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter when this will happen to you, probably, multiple times. But you may not realize that if you are delayed and you’ve missed a flight or your baggage has been delayed, aka lost, or both, you are entitled to compensation.
Here are 2 ways you might be able to get money back from airlines for having a delayed flight.
The airline doesn’t officially consider your checked baggage to be lost, because it’s in their system, somewhere. They just can’t put their hands on it right now. I’ve seen the unclaimed baggage areas in airports and some of them are cavernous and filled with a sea of bags. It’s disheartening to realize that a perhaps thousands of lives are sitting there waiting to be claimed.
Luckily, according to the Department of Transportation, DOT, if your bag is “delayed” you have a right to be compensated by the airline. Years ago, you might be offered $25 or $50 by the airline to cover your personal essentials such as deodorant or a toothbrush. These were never enough to compensate the traveler for the real items lost. Imagine how you would feel receiving $25 for lost luggage that contained the stuff from your wedding.
In October of 2011, the DOT issued a directive that made it clear that airlines could no longer place arbitrary monetary limits on what was lost or even “delayed”.
You can receive up to $3,300 for domestic flights and $1,500 for international flights if you’ve experienced delayed or lost luggage. It’s all dependent on the duration of the delay. But that’s a significant amount of cash. Much better than $25.
Bumped or Overbooked Flights
While the DOT was at it, that same directive back in 2011 also addressed the issue of bumped or overbooked flights. Even now, airlines are allowed to overbook flights because some people just don’t show up. You’ve seen the same thing at most college parking lots, during the school season, the college regular issues too many parking permits because they assume not everyone is going to be there at the same time. It’s caused issues.
It causes issues with airlines at times. There are very specific rules they must follow to ensure that they’ve done everything to compensate passengers including asking for volunteers, offering to pay for a hotel room, offering incentives on a passengers next flight. But they rarely, if at all, tell you about the monetary compensation.
If you get to your destination one to two hours late, airlines are required to pay 200% of your airfare and is capped at $675. If you get to your destination more than two hours late, you are entitled to 400% of your airfare and is capped at $1,350.
Many airlines will steer you toward getting a voucher worth that amount. Don’t be fooled, you are entitled to a check.
It Takes Persistence
These are two great ways to get compensated for the inconvenience of being delayed on your way to your destination and on your way home from your destination. But, as with most things, you must do the legwork. The DOT does not dictate the steps a passenger must take in order to receive their entitled compensation, so each airline has rules and steps to follow. You MUST follow them in a timely manner and in the correct way in order to receive what you deserve.
If you’re like most of us, it’s just too much trouble to fill out this form and submit that ticket information, then within a certain time frame, answer any questions the airline may have sent you. If any step is missed or taken out of order, you may not receive any money and you’ll be out of luck.
If you are one of those people who love the challenge of taking on the airlines and following each step with precision while you go about the rest of your work, play, and normal life, then you have probably successfully navigated the maze of bureaucracy before have cash in your hand.
But if you’re like most of us, we just don’t have the time or desire to stay on top of all those details. So, if you’re wanting to get those dollars you deserve after having lost your wedding dress, and all your gifts, you might consider using a company who enjoys the details and will do the work for you, so you can flight delay compensation. Either way, it’s an opportunity to get back some of what you lost and maybe more than what you expected.
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