NerdWallet: How to keep a flight cancellation from costing you big time

by | Jul 27, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet.  Your flight was just canceled. Now what? Unexpected disruptions can send even the most seasoned travelers into a frenzy.

Happily, flight cancellations are less common these days. For the first three months of 2023, the cancellation rate among U.S. airlines was 1.7%, down from 4.1% for the same period in 2022, according to the latest Air Travel Consumer Report from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). But for the unlucky folks in that 1.7% bucket, a canceled flight often can be just as disruptive to your bank account as it is to your travel plans. That is, unless you make the right money moves. From understanding your right to a refund to securing alternative arrangements, take these steps to get your trip back on track for minimal cost, while also getting the flight cancellation compensation you deserve.1. Seek out the customer service desk Assuming you’re already at the airport, make a beeline for the customer service desk. Time is money, and others on the canceled flight will be headed that way, too, competing for what might only be a couple of available seats on the next departing flight. Related: Air travel is a nightmare. Who’s to blame? The customer service desk is also the spot to request flight delay compensation. It’s not legally required under U.S. law. Still, many airlines have made customer service pledges in the event of controllable cancellations and delays — promising relief like meals or travel vouchers for delays (usually of three hours or more). These are outlined in the DOT’s Airline Customer Service Dashboard. Even if circumstances don’t qualify under the airline’s offic …

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