Have you been denied services or compensation by an airline that you think you’re entitled to? Are you talking to a customer service agent at an airport to file a claim for missing or damage luggage? You can’t help but think what’s really going on with airlines today!? Do they have secrets or insights that we don’t know? Here are 7 airline insights we have carefully selected to help you be more informed next time you travel:
Insight 1: Do not accept a travel voucher right away.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, if you are not able to board a flight that is overbooked and you are bumped because of that, and if the substitute transportation offered by the airline is scheduled to get you to your destination more than two hours later (four hours internationally), or if the airline does not make any substitute travel arrangements for you, the compensation you are entitled doubles: 400% of your one-way fare, or up to $1350 maximum. So the airlines offer passengers a travel voucher instead. The airlines is also obliged to inform you that you can receive a check right away. Thus, next time you agree to be booked on the next flight available because of overbooking, keep these facts in mind.
Insight 2: Less business passengers on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
Guess what? Business passengers are the staple diet for the airlines’ business. Thus, there's an extra number of available seats for sale on these days of the week, which makes Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday relatively cheaper to fly. However, if you try to buy a ticket on any of these days it will not necessarily result in cheaper flight, but it is always worth trying if your travel plans are flexible.
Insight 3: You have the option to cancel your tickets within 24 hours at no charge.
Remember, that most airlines would permit cancellation or change of itinerary up to 24 hours after the purchase of the flight at no extra cost. Some airlines, however, will allow this policy only if the purchase is made directly via their websites not through a third-party booking site such as Skyscanner, Expedia, or Travelocity. These booking sites, however, may offer policies similar to those of airlines. Best of all, check the airline return and cancellation policy before you book your next flight, or buy your ticket only if you are absolutely sure of your trip plans. Of course, buying a refundable tickets solves it all but is more expensive.
Insight 4: Airlines might have to pay you way more if your luggage is delayed.
If your bag is delayed - not lost - when you arrive at your final destination report this to the airline customer service before leaving the airport. Insist that the airline creates a report and gives you a copy, even if it says that the bag will arrive on the next flight. Obtain the customer phone number to following up on your luggage case, and don't assume that the airline will deliver your bag without a fee when found; inquire the airline personnel about this fee. The airline may also try to offer you certain amount of cash per day. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) “the airline can invoke a liability ceiling that is regulated by DOT and that is adjusted for inflation every two years. That limit is currently $3,500 per passenger.” for a US domestic trip. If you happen to buy clothing because of delayed luggage, keep all of your sales receipts and as a prove that you needed to buy the items, so that you can be reimbursed.
Insight 5: Food and water available no later than 2 hours.
If you experience a tarmac delay, upon either arrival or departure, on both domestic and international flights according to DOT airlines in the US “must provide passengers with food and water no later than two hours after the tarmac delay begins. While the aircraft remains on the tarmac lavatories must remain operable and medical attention must be available if needed.
Insight 6: If your itinerary is changed by the airline, it has to pay you the difference.
If you end up not flying with your original carrier because of cancelled or delayed flight, the airline has an obligation to take you to your final destination. And this obligation has to be fulfilled even if it means that the airline has to arrange for you to fly with another airline. The DOT recommends: If your flight is canceled, most airlines will rebook you on their first flight to your destination on which space is available, at no additional charge. If this involves a significant delay, find out if another carrier has space and ask the first airline if they will endorse your ticket to the other carrier. In this case the airline has to cover all the expenses even it means you have to travel fist class as the only option. Or if no flight is available for the day to take you to your final destination, the airline has to provide you with accommodations at no cost.
Insight 7: Can Non-refundable tickets become Refundable?
When the airlines messes up with your flight by delaying, cancelling, or even making your direct flight into a connecting one, they have to give you compensation. And this is especially true if you depend on this flight to connect to other consequent flights. Speak up your rights and ask for appropriate action of compensation and accommodation.
We hope that these several airline insights will help you become more informed and confident traveler. We welcome your opinion and comments below as we try to make you travel more enjoyable.