The year 2020 has been a tumultuous time for the travel industry. Many flights got cancelled, and thousands of passengers were stranded all over the world. And while you may be in two minds about booking a flight ticket during these unprecedented times, remember that the airlines cannot go scot-free. The Directorate General of Commercial Aviation has put in place a set of rules which dictate how airlines should facilitate a passenger. Here’s a handy guide to your rights under various circumstances. So the next time your flight gets cancelled or delayed, or you lose your luggage, here’s what you should do.
1. Cancelled Flight Refunds
Flight cancellations can be downright frustrating but remember that the airlines will have to make it up to you. Airlines will rebook you for an alternate flight for any cancellations prior to two weeks of your travel. If you do not like the alternative travel arrangement, you have every right to ask for another flight that matches your schedule. In case they cannot provide you with a suitable travel alternative, you can ask for the full refund.
In case of a flight cancellation less than two weeks and than 24 hours before travel, the airline will offer you a flight within two hours of your original time of departure. In the rare case where the airline cannot manage to inform you of a cancellation, they should offer you with an alternate flight at no additional cost. They can offer you a different airline. However, if you do not like the options, you can ask for a full refund as well. All of this is subject to factors not in the control of the airline. You may not get compensated for factors like bad weather, ATC delays and floods. Here are the New Cancellation And Refund Policies Of 5 Major International Airlines
2. Delayed Flight Compensations
Before you ask for compensation of delayed flights, remember that delays are not in the hands of airlines and that the airlines operate at the mercy of various factors like weather and political situation. While you cannot claim for a refund for the delays, you should get complimentary refreshments or meals. Usually, airlines distribute snack boxes in case of delays, so be alert and hear the announcements. In case of a delay of more than 27 hours, you are eligible to get a free stay and transfer from the airline. Here are 5 Ways To Find The Best Airfare Deals & Save On Your Travels.
3. Reimbursements For Damaged Or Delayed Baggage
Your baggage should arrive on the same flight as yours but in case it does not, the airline will bring it to you at the earliest. If you do not receive your bag within 21 days, it is considered lost. In this case, the airlines will pay you as per the weight of bags checked in.
If your bag is damaged, the first thing to do is to file a Property Irregularity Report with the airline’s baggage desk. The airline will offer to repair, but if the damage is a lot, they will replace it. If you disagree with the replacement provided, you can ask for a settlement at a value determined by the age and the original cost of the bag. Please note that if you need to make interim purchases like toiletries and clothes, the airline will you with the reimbursements.
4. Refunds For Cancelled Tickets
For a ticket booked online directly with the airline, your money has to be returned to you within a week after cancellation. When you book via other travel websites, they have up to 30 days to process your refund. When you book a ticket in cash, you can claim a cash refund immediately at the ticketing office of the airlines. Are you worried about the cancellation charge? Remember that the airline can’t impose a cost more than the basic fare and fuel charges on a passenger.
Be sure always to mention your phone number while booking your ticket so the airline can update you in case of a delay or cancellation.