Let’s not beat around the bush, air travel has SUCKED this year. We’re not throwing shade at the hard workers in the industry who are doing their best to help us enjoy our vacation, but there just aren’t enough of them.
The travel industry is still reeling from COVID-19 and after making severe staffing cuts in 2020, is struggling to attract new workers.
It’s not news to anyone that this is ending in thousands of suitcases left in a heap on airport floors (are they trying for a world record?) huge check-in queues, and flight cancellations.
If you’ve ever had your flight canceled before, you’ll know that airlines try and wiggle their way out of refunding you any way they can, but spending hours on Google trying to find your rights and arguing on the phone can now be a thing of the past.
This new website dashboard — DOT — has been launched by the Department of Tourism to help customers demand their rights on flight cancellations and delays that are within the airline’s control.
It has collected data from 10 US airlines, including United, JetBlue, and Delta, to bring users data about the airline’s commitments.
It is simple to navigate, with a green tick or red cross for each commitment to signal whether or not the particular airline has made a commitment, and allows you to know where you stand in regards to refunds and rebooking.
An airline is legally required to abide by its commitments, and the Department of Tourism will be holding any companies accountable that fail to do so.
The commitments for cancellations include:
- Rebook passengers on the same airline at no additional cost.
- Rebook passengers on another airline at no additional cost
- Complimentary hotel accommodation for any passenger affected by an overnight cancellation
- Meal or meal/cash voucher when cancellations result in passenger waiting 3 hours or more for a new flight
- Complimentary ground transportation to and from a hotel for any passenger affected by an overnight cancellation
It also analyzes commitments airlines have made in case of controllable delays of 3 hours or more.
The 10 airlines that are included in the DOT dashboard cover over 96% of domestic US flights, and this new service makes it easy for you as a passenger to know your entitlements.
It’s worth noting that if an airline cancels your flight or makes changes to your itinerary, you are entitled to a refund, regardless of the reason for the change.
You may be offered the option to rebook for free. However, if this isn’t suitable for you, you can still claim 100% of your money back.
Did you have a delayed or canceled flight? Did you have a luggage delay? Go to AirHelp and see if you’re eligible for compensation.