Here in North America it feels like we should be seeing spring soon. Not because it’s getting warmer. Rather it seems like we’ve been dealing with winter conditions for months. And it’s really only been weeks! With the holidays wrapping up, people have been busy trying to get back home and back to work. However with this deep freeze that we all seem to be enduring , the airport delays seem to be never ending. I’ve been watching news clips showing very frustrated travelers as well as equally frustrated airport employees. One side seems to be arguing that there not been taking care of and the other side seems to be trying to do its best to get people to their destinations. All of this has made me wonder whether or not people really understand air passenger rights and how they apply to their situation.
Air Passenger Rights for Flight Delays
Over the last few years many countries have initiated airline passenger rights. These air passenger rights can vary from country to country. The US Department of Transportation implemented an airline passenger rights in April of 2010.
For whether flight delays, the airlines are not required to compensate passengers for delayed or canceled flights. Of course each airline is free to expanded that policy. Some may offer financial and meal compensation where others may not. So it’s best to check with your actual airline regarding how they handle flight delays or cancellations.
One tip that I would offer is to always check before you head to the airport. Most of the major airlines will allow you to alter your flight arrangements, or cancel them altogether, without penalty during extreme flight delays. Trust me, it’ll save you a you a lot of frustration to check your flight situation before you head to the airport.
As part of the air passenger rights, airlines operating flights within the US are not permitted to keep a plane on the tarmac for more than three hours. Additionally airlines are required to provide food and drinking water if the delay on the tarmac is longer than two hours. Plus, the washrooms have to be functioning (thank God for small wonders)! Of course there are exceptions. For example the time limit delay does not come into play if the delay is due to passenger safety.
More Information on Air Passenger Rights in the US and Abroad
Click the links below to find more information on air passenger rights in the US as well as Canada and the European Union:
Flight Rights Canada
Air passenger rights were designed to help take some of the stress away from travel. Most airlines are genuinely concerned for their passengers and do everything that they can to get them to their destinations as quickly as possible. But things can go awry. My personal experience is that it’s best not to be nasty. Better to kill with kindness as they say. Don’t forget, if an airport is in chaos due to flight delays there’s a pretty good chance that the airline employees are being stretched to their limits.