Some airlines are canceling anywhere from 5% to 50% of their flights on any given day, creating massive issues for thousands of travelers. Is there any way to avoid these problems? And what are your traveler rights? The Sum takes a look.
To Sum It Up
- In some cases, individual companies have canceled upwards of 800 to 1,800 flights in a single day, which is the equivalent of roughly 10% to 20% of all of their scheduled departures.
Why airlines can’t resume normal flight service:
- They laid off employees at the start of the pandemic and didn’t have new recruits lined up to fill those spots when needed.
- Training flight crews, including pilots and attendants, takes several months, so new personnel can’t just be added to the rotation.
- Because of relaxed mask mandates, crew members are calling in sick with COVID-19, leading to more shortages.
- Without adequate flight crews, airlines have no choice but to cancel flights or move passengers to different ones.
- Many passengers end up spending more money due to cancellations or changes they had no say in.
- Some passengers are even paying to travel to their destinations early just in case flights get canceled or moved.
Why It Matters
- Consumers are trying out other forms of transportation, like cars, trains, or buses, and building in extra time to travel in order to anticipate delays.
- Some airlines may see a decline in customers if they get the reputation of being totally unreliable.
Know Your Rights
- The airline must offer you a refund if your flight is canceled for any reason.
- You’re entitled to a refund after “a significant change or delay.” However, that’s up for interpretation.
- Airlines are required to send a credit to your credit card company within 7 days of receiving a completed refund application.
- That refund may take up to 30 days to show up in a statement.
No Matter What
- Be patient and kind to staff and fellow travelers.
- Build in extra time to travel days and trips in general.
- Bring all of your items in carry-on bags if you can to avoid losing luggage.
- Have any documents you need easily accessible.
This story was originally published August 11, 2022 4:55 PM.