There are so many of us who fly on a regular basis without actually being aware of our air travel rights. It’s a given that airlines will not be very keen to shed light on the air travel rights that give passengers an upper hand. But with so many passengers getting into a scuffle with airlines in recent times, it’s best to be aware of your flight rights. Whether you’re a frequent flyer or are about to make your first flight trip, knowing your air passenger rights will help you travel in peace.
Can you expect the airline to compensate you should they misplace your baggage? What to do when you are bumped off a flight? Where can you lodge an official complaint? These are some of the many queries air passengers have. Let’s take a look at some of the air travel rights that deal with these and other things.
Top Air Passenger Rights to Know About:
There are a number of regulations put in place by the United States Department of Transportation to ensure passenger safety and convenience. Whether you’re booking flights in advance or traveling on last minute flights, these international air travel rights will help you realize there’s more to air travel than meets the eye. Take a look at some of the most important flight rights you have.
- Involuntary bumping
One of the top air travel rights you should know you have is that you are entitled to compensation if bumped off a flight involuntarily. An important point to note is that airline must give you cash instead of vouchers that generally expire a little over a year. However, if the airline has managed to get you to your destination within an hour of the originally scheduled arrival time, you will not be compensated. Airlines also need to process refund the amount bumped-off passengers spent on onboard services such as seat selection meals, and checked baggage.
- Voluntary bumping
This happens when a flight is oversold. While it doesn’t happen all the time, overbooking could result in you being voluntarily bumping off the flight. This is how it works: when an airline is overbooked, they generally seek out passengers who will voluntarily give up their seats and take the next flight with them. They will offer you vouchers and priority seating on the next flight in exchange for this. So what air travel rights do you have here? Plenty, actually. Depending on how badly the airline needs the seat, you could ask for an upgrade to business class seats, food coupons, and access to posh lounges among other things.
As per DOT regulations, if you’ve bought a flight ticket at least seven days prior to your trip, you are allowed to make changes to the flight ticket without incurring massive charges. You are also entitled to cancel the entire reservation without having to pay a huge cancellation fee. For whatever reasons, is an airline refuses to carry a passenger who has booked with them, they are entitled to ask for a refund. This can be done even if the ticket is a nonrefundable one. This is one of the many air travel rights people don’t know about.
- Cancellations and delays
If you’re wondering about passenger rights flight delays-wise, this is it. When it comes to flight cancellations or delays, compensation will depend on the reason for the occurrence and the concerning airline. If the delay or cancellation is owing to weather conditions, then there isn’t anything the airline can do. However, if it’s because of man-made reasons then you are entitled to some form of compensation depending on the airline. You can ask for meals, hotel stays, or phone calls depending on the particular airline policy. One of the air travel rights you can exercise here is to ask the airline to fund a ticket on another carrier that has a seat available for you.
- Missing baggage
Lost luggage is one of the most common problems that plague air passengers. Know your flight rights when it comes to dealing with lost baggage. If your baggage has been misplaced by an airline, generally, your reimbursement will depend on the kind of flight you were on. For instance, if you were on domestic travel, maximum reimbursement is up to $2500. However, the Warsaw Convention will apply in case you were on international flights. As per this, compensation is limited to $640 per each checked bag and about $400 for unchecked baggage per each customer. In the meantime, the airlines will generally offer you toothpaste, toiletries, and other basic essentials. If you were traveling somewhere to attend a special event, you can ask the airline to reimburse you the amount needed to buy new clothes. It’s one of your most important air travel rights.
These were just some of the many important air travel rights you should know you have. Check this link for detailed information on your other air passenger rights. Do a bit of research and see if you can find any more air travel rights that haven’t been listed anywhere else. The next time you book cheap international flight tickets, travel in peace knowing you have flight rights to protect you. Happy traveling!