New Tool Helps Travelers Know Their Rights During Flight Delays

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Frustrated traveler in an airport

The U.S. Department of Transportation has rolled out a new airline customer service dashboard that gives travelers a one-stop place to understand their rights when a carrier delays or cancels a flight.

The dashboard offers a comparison of amenities that individual airlines have agreed to provide in the event of a delay or cancellation that results from something within the airline’s control, according to the government.

Examples of events that can cause delays and are within an airline’s control might include:

  • Maintenance or crew problems
  • Cabin cleaning
  • Baggage loading
  • Fueling

The Department of Transportation also says it will “hold airlines accountable if they fail to provide the promised services.”

The dashboard features 10 major airlines and a list of the services or amenities the carrier has agreed to provide, such as meal vouchers or hotel rooms.

A green check means the airline has made a commitment in a specific area. A red check means the airline has not made a commitment, although some carriers might grant the service or amenity under certain conditions.

The Department of Transportation says the 10 airlines featured on the dashboard and their regional operating partners account for approximately 96% of the domestic scheduled passenger air traffic.

The government also reminds travelers that they have rights beyond the commitments highlighted on the dashboard. According to the dashboard itself:

“Remember these commitments do not impact your entitlement to a refund. If an airline cancels a passenger’s flight or makes a significant change in the flight, regardless of the reason, airlines are required to provide a prompt refund to a ticketed passenger, including those with non-refundable tickets, should the passenger choose not to accept the alternative offered, such as rebooking on another flight.”

You can find the new Airline Customer Service Dashboard in the Aviation Consumer Protection section of the Department of Transportation’s website.

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