If you experience an air travel delay, in most cases, you are absolutely eligible for some form of compensation. The key to success in getting what you are entitled to is to know your rights, and to be aware of any applicable laws and regulations which depend on where you depart from and on which airline you use. Even seasoned airline passengers that have been flying for years are often unaware that they can receive compensation for delays and other mishaps.
How Much Can You Get?
There are different laws and regulations for compensation depending on where you depart from and which airline you fly with, but as a general rule for the US and EU you can expect to receive about $600 – 800 for a delayed flight that is delayed more than a few hours. The founder of one popular airline website states that only two percent of affected passengers end up filing a claim, and only one percent actually receive any money. This is usually caused by lack of knowledge on the process in general, and in rarer cases caused by sheer laziness. The airlines are counting on you to be either unaware or apathetic to the fact that they owe you money and they will take advantage of that if you let them.
Compensation for Overbooking
Almost all airlines will overbook their flights because they are counting on the fact that sometimes people just don’t show up. Obviously they don’t want to waste money by having an empty seat, but this often causes problems when everyone tries to board only to find that their seat has been sold to another passenger. As a domestic traveler in the United States you are eligible to receive twice the amount paid for your ticket if you are denied boarding on an oversold flight and cannot reach your destination within one hour of the time you expected to arrive. If the delay reaches two hours, you are eligible to receive four times what you paid for your ticket.
Don’t Take the Bait
The airline staff will probably attempt to buy your silence with a voucher – do not accept it. If you take the voucher, you are waiving your right to the compensation you truly deserve which will be much higher than the value of the voucher. They are basically trying to make a deal with you in the hope that you will take a smaller amount right then and there instead of going through the real process of making a claim.
Get a Lawyer
If you departed from or flew with an airline located in the United States you should contact the knowledgeable aviation lawyers at Slack & Davis to assess your claim and find out exactly what you are entitled to receive. The airlines aren’t going to chase you down to pay you what you deserve, and they are relying on you to either forget the whole ordeal or not even be aware that you should be getting paid for your inconvenience and losses. The rules set forth for compensation by airlines are intentionally hard to understand for the average customer, so you should ask for help from people who know the business