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What can you receive from airlines if your flight is delayed, canceled?

Posted at 5:05 PM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 17:37:30-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — If you're worried about airline delays or cancellations on your next trip, major airlines have just updated their customer service agreements.

Forty-five thousand flights have been canceled by U.S. carriers since the start of June, according to FlightAware.

"They've been quite beat up the past year. Their staff is tired, and they need a breath of fresh air to regain the passenger confidence," Peter Ricci, the director of the hospitality and tourism management program at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, said.

Ricci added that airlines are often criticized for delays and cancellations that are weather-related, traffic-related, or due to air traffic control.

"If you look back on the past 12 months, these issues are primarily self-induced by the airlines. They cut their staff to the bone during COVID and did not have sufficient employees in the necessary positions," Ricci said.

The Department of Transportation just launched a new tool to compare all the major airlines and make sure you know what you're signing up for.

"I think it's good for everyone. It's good for the airlines and the passengers," Ricci said.

This comes just hours after airlines updated their customer service agreements, clarifying when passengers can receive meals and hotel vouchers.

Some airlines like American, Delta, JetBlue, and United check all the boxes. Others, like Allegiant, check none.

But to go even further, United, for example, is changing its threshold of when to offer a meal voucher from a four-hour delay to three.

The airline also lays out how much it's willing to pay if you're forced to stay overnight, $200, something passengers said should really be required of every airline.

"If I'm inconvenienced or have to stay an extra night, that would make sense," passenger Billy Mills said.

So now these airlines are going to pay for your meal or your hotel, but is that enough? Travelers said it's not.

"Time is money, and you expect something from them when you pay to have them get you there. And if you don't get there, then you're not going to want to use them," passenger Chase Robertson said.