Camping at the airport would not be considered The Days of the Chic. Earlier this week the Northeast braced for what it expected to be one of the largest blizzards in history. Major US cities like New York & Boston were right in the line of fire, or in this case, ice. In and around the cities, some of the most traveled airports in the country, including three in the NYC area, Newark, LaGuardia & JFK as well as Boston’s Logan & several regional New England Airports.
What does that add up to in cancelled flights? Over 7000 flights were cancelled on Monday & Tuesday, leaving many travelers in a bind. The question is: Do you know your rights when snow or weather delays or cancels your trip? We have some details that will prove helpful if you are every confronted with an airport camp out.
General guidelines for airlines rebooking you offer little help, especially in the case of a blizzard or extreme weather event which can last several days. If space is available, the airline will typically offer to rebook you on the next available flight to your destination - as noted by the US Department of Transportation.
When there is no available for several hours, you can request to be rebooked on another carrier. You may also want to request a meal voucher. Proceed with caution, because any concessions are purely at will. There are no federal requirements in place for what airlines must do to assist passengers whose flights have been delayed or canceled. That means you should not expect to be put up in a hotel unless you are willing to pay. However, compensation is legally required when an airline bumps you from an oversold flight. Policies do vary from airline to airline, but most are meager when it comes to delays or cancellations due to bad weather. #OutOfLuck
With a backlog of flights & potentially more bad winter weather to come, it is important to learn these policies for your specific flights. A great travel tip is being aware of the weather in your departure & arrival city for each leg of your trip. If you notice a few days out that bad weather is expected, put in a preemptive request to move your flight by a day or two, some airlines like JetBlue will do this as an even exchange - no change fee & no difference in price paid.
To become more informed about this topic, consider researching your preferred airline’s policies found on their website often under the conditions of carriage. There is a lot of fine print, several pages of it, because even the compensation will vary due to a number of factors like length or time of day. Check out some of these popular US Airlines for more details information.
European carriers have different requirements regarding delays & cancellation. Find more information here.
The original article can be seen at The New York Times.
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