CROMWELL, Conn. — Better Business Bureau® (BBB®)
provides guidance to travelers who may be seeking compensation and refunds for holiday airline cancellations.
In general, there are no U.S. federal laws requiring airlines to provide passengers with compensation for a delayed flight. Airlines may have their own policies and may provide better benefits if a flight was canceled or significantly delayed within the airline’s scope of control. Consumers may have additional benefits if they purchased the flight with a credit card that offers additional travel protections. Check the cardholder agreement and with the airline. Consumers should keep receipts for extra purchases, like a hotel room, so they can submit them to their airline or credit card company for reimbursement later. Typically, nearly all domestic airlines will try to accommodate passengers on the next available flight, and sometimes on a different carrier.
When flights are canceled by the airline, consumers are always entitled to a full refund. This includes a refund of any bag fees or extras, such as additional legroom, for a seat. If the airline offers a voucher in lieu of a refund, ask about expiration and blackout dates. Airlines may also have additional restrictions on the use of vouchers. Consumers are not obligated to accept vouchers and may insist on a full refund instead. If the trip was canceled by the consumer, however, they may not be entitled to a full refund.