Travel mishaps happen just unexpectedly. Regardless of whether you’re flying first-class or you booked a seat in the Economy cabin, you all don’t take off once unforeseen circumstances occur. Last year, thousands of passengers faced flight delays and cancellations when a Chinese aircraft skidded in the runway and disrupted 200 other flights. It took days before the damaged plane was removed, so air travelers are left stranded in the airports. The event is just one of those unfortunate situations that leave passengers in distress. In times like this, you can always depend on your travel insurance coverage, but it is essential to know your rights so you can be compensated for the inconvenience by the authorities at fault.
Here are important points to remember based on Section 12 of the Bill of Rights of Air Passengers and Carrier Obligations:
1. Cancellation at least 24 hours before the ETD (Estimated Time of Departure) due to the air carrier
If your flight is canceled within 24 hours before your departure, the airline should either rebook or reimburse the total cost of your ticket. The choice depends on the policy of the air carrier, but passengers should be compensated either way.
You should also be notified about the cancellation or delay and be endorsed to other carriers without paying for extra charges.
Here are a few things you should be entitled to receive:
* Notification – The airline should be sending emails or should be calling passengers to let them know that the flight is canceled or delayed.
* Amenities – Passengers should be provided with facilities including hotel accommodation, food, and drinks
* Reimbursement – Airlines should compensate the entire value of the fare including optional fees, surcharges, and taxes
* Rebooking – Your flight should be rebooked without asking you for an additional cost.
2. Cancellation due to forces of nature, security, and safety reasons
There are times when your intended trips get interrupted due to storm or to terrorism threats in your destination. The airline opts to cancel the flight instead. What should you do? As an air passenger, you have the right to get reimbursement of the same value as the fare you paid.
3. Terminal delays (at least 3 hours)
Whether or not the airline is at fault, every passenger is entitled to receive amenities and compensation for delays at least three hours before the ETD.
You should be provided with:
* Free access to first aid, emails, texts or phone calls
* Rebooking or refunding of ticket
* Endorsement to other carriers
4. Terminal delays (at least 6 hours)
For delays of at least 6 hours and the carrier is at fault, air passengers should have:
* Additional compensation
* Board the flight if the passenger didn’t want to rebook or refund
* Consider the flight canceled and be provided with all benefits entailed with actual cancellation
5. Tarmac delays
Getting stuck on a plane is a stressful situation any passenger can get into. Whether you are on a flight for business or leisure, you have all the right to get compensated for waiting patiently for the aircraft to take off. Tarmac delays occur when an airplane is still on the ground waiting for take-off due to several reasons. The airline should provide you with enough amount of beverage and food for free.
According to the law, passengers should be compensated immediately after the mishap and payments should be made available at the carrier’s counters or their designated offices. Modes of payments can be made through issuing checks, cash, or claim forms which are convertible to cash within 15 days after the delay or cancellation.
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Travel inconveniences are almost always unpredictable and having travel insurance is one of the best ways to make sure you don’t pay more than what you should. Aside from receiving sufficient support and compensation from your airlines, you also get that peace of mind knowing that your travel insurance will cover the rest of the bargain.