Am I Leaving on a Jet Plane?

I am a frequent flyer that travels at least once a month. Just like everyone else, if I make plans to be somewhere, I make sure I am there. This is why I dread being at the mercy of the airline. I can be there ready for my flight an hour early, in line getting ready to walk onto the plane, or I could even be in my seat on the actual airplane, when I hear that sickening announcement. “Ladies and gentlemen, I am sorry to inform you that there will be a delay for our flight today.”

Half the time I am not even sure why the flight is being delayed. It is obvious when it is weather related. But when it is not due to the weather, doesn’t that mean that it is the fault of the airline? Unless there is a creature out there on the wing pulling up panels like on the Twilight Zone, the airline should be providing some compensation for the amount of time being wasted on my schedule. A simple muffled apology over the loudspeaker is just not good enough.

There is something the airlines do not want you to know. The hidden truth is that if your flight has been cancelled by the airline, then you may be able to claim flight cancellation compensation. Again, the less people that know about this, the better it is for the airline. They are not going to provide this information to you when your flight gets cancelled. They may even try to fight your claim for a bit, but they know they need to offer compensation in certain circumstances.

In the case of a flight heading to Canada from Europe is cancelled, the airline must comply with the regulations in effect in these places. Not only do you receive money back from your cancelled flight, but you may also receive up to $900 because of the intrusion on your own personal schedule.

With flights going from place to place in only Canada, it can be a bit complicated though. Passengers are often offered a meal voucher and a night at a hotel as compensation. If they do not offer that, be sure to ask for it. If the airline does not honor your request, ask for a supervisor to talk to instead. Many of these cases are handled on a person-by-person basis. If you do not hold steady on your request, they may brush you off to the side.

Airlines from the European Union can be asked to compensate passengers when their flights are cancelled due to the airline’s incompetence. In fact, the law states that a written document outlining compensation amounts be handed out to travellers when their flight gets cancelled. Have you ever been handed out such a document? Me neither. However, that is the law that they are supposed to follow.

According to the law from 2009, the United States airlines are supposed to compensate passengers when their international flights have been cancelled. Again, it is the law. And they, too, are supposed to hand out written explanation of compensation to the passengers affected.

Once your flight has been cancelled, approach the staff and ask for the compensation available to you by law. Do not be shocked if they act like they do not owe you anything. Airline employees are often like that, regardless if you are asking for compensation or not. For passengers who encounter difficulties navigating the administrative procedures, there are companies that you can contact online that will take over your battle and deal with the airline. It’s a shame that the airlines do not honor these laws in the first place. Do not feel bad when holding them accountable when they cancel your flight.

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