3 Compensation Secrets Airlines Don't Want You to Know

Updated 05/06/19

We spend all winter waiting for summertime travel, but warm-weather jet-setting is also synonymous with overcrowded airports, overbooked flights, and massive airline delays. On the bright side, you may be entitled to more than you think, reports Thrillist. "When cancellations, overbooked flights, and excessive delays [mess] up more than just your day, a $10 voucher for an airport meal isn't gonna cut it as an adequate salve—and in most cases, you've got a right to way more than that," it writes. Below, read up on exactly what you're entitled to (that airlines don't necessarily want you to know).

Airline compensation secrets

Skip Vouchers—You're Entitled to Cash

An airline voucher will not assuage the inconvenience of getting bumped from a flight. That's according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, which requires airlines to make new travel arrangements for you within two hours of getting bumped. If they don't, they're required to compensate you up to $1350 in cash. "It's like your flight delay Miranda rights," adds the publication. "If it looks like the delay is going to cost you more than the airline is offering, like you had a nonrefundable hotel reservation, or miss a private helicopter ride (look at you!), you've got 30 days to try and get as much money out of them as you can."

Even With New Flight Arrangements, You Can Get Cash

If you're bumped from a domestic flight and the airline gets you to your final destination between one and two hours after your scheduled arrival time, you're entitled to compensation. Same goes for international flights, but the time window extends to four hours. The airline owes you "compensation of 200% the one-way fare to your destination, up to $675," Thrillist specifies. "For flights arriving more than two hours later, you are entitled to 400% of your one-way fare."

You Can Cancel Within 24 Hours of Booking (Free of Charge)

With the exception of American Airlines, who gives customers a 24-hour refundable cancellation window, most airlines allow you to cancel or change your ticket up to a week before your scheduled travel date for a full refund. For this to be true, "You need to book directly with the airline's website, and not through a third-party booking site, although big ones like Expedia or Travelocity offer policies similar to those of airlines," they add. "But the big takeaway: You can have buyer's remorse for up to a full day."

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Head over to Thrillist for more! Next up, read up on the top 10 travel destinations for 2018, according to Google!

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