There’s not an air traveler that hasn’t been there.
Even if you remember to check that your flight is on time before leaving for the airport, there’s still a good chance that when you get there your flight will be delayed.
And they always seem to give you the delays incrementally.
First one hour, then when that’s nearly up they delay for another hour.
Who knows when you will take off?
Some (a very few) know exactly what to do, and when you can claim for extra meals, accommodation, or damages from the delay. After all, some delays are the airline’s fault, and some may just be natural, such as weather conditions, and available compensation can vary.
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But if compensation is payable, it may be substantial and you don’t want to miss out on it.
What will I learn?
Flight Delay/Cancellation Compensation
Here are eight ways that you can tackle this problem, by getting compensated for flight delays or cancellations.
1. File a Claim with AirHelp
AirHelp, at getairhelp.com, offers the same type of assistance if you had a bad traveling experience, and also includes United States flights within the US.
They offer interesting information, such as you are entitled to 200% of a one-way fare if your flight arrives 1 to 2 hours late, and 400% if you’re more than two hours late, by federal regulation.
They receive their payment of 25% out of your claim.
2. File a Claim with Airrefund
Another website that does the same thing, this time called AirRefund.com.
This one is geared more towards Europe, because Europe’s better regulations make claiming compensation more straightforward.
3. File a Claim with Flightbucks
If your travel includes Europe, this Texas-based company can help you get compensation.
That’s because Europe has strict regulations on its air travel. If you think you might be eligible, you can simply file a claim online through their website, and they’ll let you know.
You don’t pay unless there is a claim, and then they take 27%.
4. File a Claim with Refund.Me
In a similar way to AirHelp, Refund Me, at refund.me, is another website that will claim damages for you, and will take 25% if it is successful.
5. Include Europe in Your Travels
You may have noticed a common theme in discussing compensation above. EU compensates passengers for delayed /cancelled flights much better than US does.
The rules and regulations on European flights are clear on compensation, and enforced.
Even if you are flying to the US from Europe, if you are delayed more than three hours you can get up to $825 in compensation.
6. Consider Travel Insurance
Some people dismiss travel insurance as a needless expense, but if you buy and need to use it, it can be very worthwhile.
For instance, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection offers a plan called AirCare for just $33.50.
It pays out $50 if you’re delayed by two hours, $250 if you miss a connection because of the delay, and a cool $1000 if you are left sitting on the tarmac for two hours.
7. Cozy up to One Airline
If you travel a lot, try sticking with the same airline and becoming a favorite customer. It can help when you start arguing for compensation.
You can also get other benefits such as priority boarding, free cocktails, and in some places an exclusive airport lounge.
8. How You Pay Matters: Use the right Credit Card
Unless you have a good reason not to, you should pay for your travel with a credit card.
Many airline credit cards as well as none airline cards have better travel compensation for flights booked through them than the airlines will offer.
If you have several credit cards compare the benefits.
For example, The Chase Sapphire Preferred card includes protection for yourself and your family, and provides up to $500 per person for meals, lodging, etc. if you are delayed overnight or for more than 12 hours.
No one wants to be stuck in one place, trying to get to another place.
With flight delay/cancellation compensation you can at least feel better knowing that, you can at least get some compensation for your troubles.