If the Airline Cancels Your Ticket, Do They Have to Reimburse You?

If the Airline Cancels Your Ticket, Do They Have to Reimburse You?

You have two options…

I recently read an article in the Washington Post about a woman and her husband who were on their way to Napa Valley from Chicago to celebrate their anniversary.  On their way to the airport the airline sent her a text that the flight was delayed and asked her if they wanted a refund.  A refund?  What about a later flight or placing them on another airline to get them to their destination?

The truth is that if there are no available seats on a later flight it could mean severe delays or even an entire cancellation of the trip.  What about the airline putting you on another airline to get you there?  Well, apparently that is a hot top in Washington as to whether or not “airline reciprocity” it should be mandated.  This would mean that if an airline can’t get you to your destination in a timely manner, then they would then have to find another airline that can and in a timely manner.  Unfortunately, right now most airlines have a “Contract of Carriage” that all passengers abide by when they purchase an airline ticket, and in the contract most airlines have a statement that explains it is at the airline’s discretion if they want to put you onto another airline’s flight.  

Some airlines are more willing to accommodate the passenger and put them onto another airline, especially when the circumstances are extenuating.   A few weeks ago when Delta had a computer system issue, they had hundreds of passengers stuck and stranded so they did everything they could to help get people to their destination including putting passengers on other airlines.  

So what are your options when an airline cancels your reservation, especially last minute?  First you want to ask the airline, do you have another flight that can get me to my destination in a reasonable time frame.  Sometimes the airlines will cancel your reservation and offer a refund if the delay will be more than 90 minutes.  You may be willing to wait longer than 90 minutes and get on a later flight, so you just have to ask.

The second thing you can do is cancel the reservation and take the refund.  If you take this option, make sure that there are flights available on another airline.  Sometimes finding space on another airline’s flight the day of can be like finding a needle in a haystack.  So before you take the refund, check what is available and what you will be willing to take.  

As life is so unpredictable including when we travel, it is a great idea to purchase travel insurance to help reimburse you for these types of inconveniences that can occur.

Click Here to check out the Life is Better Traveling Team!

Congratulations to Mary! 

She recently earned the distinguished Certified Travel Associate (CTA) designation from the Travel Institute, the travel industry’s oldest education organization.  She completed a comprehensive exam-based training program that demonstrates extensive industry knowledge and experience, and she must continue to fulfill stringent education credit requirements each year. 

Have a Great Week!

All photos, rights reserved by those who produced them, and Yohannan family.