Flight delayed or canceled? Here's what you need to know
If your flight is affected by the weather, follow these tips from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Aviation Consumer Protection Division.
Airlines are not required to compensate passengers for "damages" when flights are delayed or canceled due to weather.
Compensation is required by law only when you are "bumped" from a flight that is oversold.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Aviation Consumer Protection Division offers these tips:
• Confirm your flight well ahead of your departure time. If there is a problem, try to rebook over the phone. Make sure your reservation contains a phone number where you can be reached.
• If your flight is canceled, most airlines will try to find you a seat on their next flight. Or you can ask for a refund, or ask whether another carrier has seats and for your airline to endorse your ticket to that carrier.
• Some airlines may not offer amenities if the cause of a delay is beyond the airline's control. For example, Alaska Airlines provides hotel space if a flight is canceled and the city where the cancellation occurs is 100 miles away from your home, but not for flights affected by weather or air traffic-control problems.
• Be prepared. Bring a snack onboard make sure your cellphone is fully charged.
— Carol Pucci
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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