Are you willing to fight for US Air Passenger Rights?

Citizens fly frequently for business and pleasure in or out from America, Europe or Asia. It feels good to be high up there, communing with the heavens. Elation follows the moment of flight booking and lasts until touchdown.

Most flying occasions offer no hassle and no complaint with impeccable services honed to perfection. All the facilities and discounts, in-flight food and entertainment and stupendous offers give plenty to please.

Do you worry about the disasters? Research reveals that air travel beats every other kind of travel in terms of safety. Yet everybody knows of bitter plane tragedies, strange disappearances, and terrorist hijackings.

Do You Know about US Air Passenger Rights?

Just like citizens possess several rights under the constitution, passengers need to protect themselves. The mighty airline industry and aviation authorities grant certain rights to passengers.

They mean something only when flyers avail them. If you meekly accept injustice and avoid fighting for rights, you lose compensation for whatever went amiss. Everybody agrees that lapses of the airlines should compensate passengers.

Problems posed by Airline Companies during flights

If your family flew for holidays and business trips without a hitch perhaps across continents, count yourself lucky. Many passengers complain of harassment’s that occur rather often. Passengers wait inside the plane on the tarmac, sometimes for hours.

Schedules get upset besides the inconvenience, particularly to the aged passengers.  Flights taking off late and consequently arriving late turn out to be a big hassle. Appointments get missed as a result.

Booked passengers denied seats at the last moment due to overbooking! Baggage disappears in transit or gets delayed.

Shall we call it a range of diseases? If the management does their jobs well, should such problems occur? Yet human error creates problems and sometimes gets on the nerves.

Perhaps appropriate repayment solves the problem. Yet you need to ask, argue and fight for recompense. And that could involve complex procedures.




Tarmac Delays Reasons

Speeded up technology and computerization should prevent such glitches in a massive American airline industry. Thousands of flights and millions of passengers crowd the airports and the skies at all times, day and night.

Tarmac delays of several hours make no sense but happen often enough. Takeoffs and landings experience similar issues of tarmac delays. The complex airport procedures prevent quick transfers.

After filling up with elated passengers, the plane waits for the green take off signal. Just touched down planes seek to unload passengers and baggage.

What holds them back in either case?

Airports suffer from strange, unknown maladies. Certain rules prevent quick action. Mechanical problems prove villainous occasionally. Inclement weather problems appear in the nick of time. Rain and snow, winds and fog, the list do not end.

Problems Passengers Suffers

When delays occur, boredom sets in. Reading, music, and movies suffice to get over it. Some people munch or talk endlessly. Yet food and water supply cannot halt.

Fresh air needs to be available at such claustrophobic delays. Passengers often suffer from proper toilet facilities denied. Irritation and impatience result from such anxious delays besides fatigue.

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Rules Governing Tarmac Delays

Fragile constitutions, rules, policies and philosophies protect vulnerable people in difficult situations of whatever nature. US DOT rules specify how long passengers can wait on domestic flights. The rules indicate the facilities that ensure passenger comfort for 2 hour delays. Airlines face stiff penalties otherwise.

Though 2009 and 2010 went by, happenings then indicate the future possibilities. 2009 witnessed about 500 three hours or more delays.

In one incident, 47 passengers experienced a six-hour delay! Similarly, 2010 saw hundreds of three-hour delays too. Late April 2010 witnessed the introduction of the new rules. The authorities bore enough.

  • Planes parking on the tarmac compulsorily releases passengers after three hours of delay and the aircraft returns to the gate.
  • Two-hour delays require the supply of adequate food and water facilities. Passengers need access to adequate toilet facilities too.
  • An airline employee supervises delays, cancellations, and complaints. The employee provides information regarding the filing of complaints.
  • Airline companies display flight delay information on the websites concerning domestic flights and indicate frequently delayed flights.

Exceptions, yes. traveller safety matters! And the 3 hour deplaning rule holds amidst normal security concerns. Planes returning to the gate need avoid any disruption to normal airport routines.

Read More: A Consumer Guide to Air Travel




Penalties Imposed Upon Tarmac Delays

Airlines violating the new tarmac delay rules attract huge penalties. The fine amounts to $27,500 per passenger. Commercial jets carry 200 passengers and the fine works out to $5 million each time! The largest airlines hesitate to break the rule.

Can airlines escape the hefty fines? Some claim that the airline companies would pass on the fines to travellers. They charge higher for tickets and cite increases in operating expenses. Companies rather cancel flights than run such risks of delays under unfavorable conditions.

Supporters agree that such rules favor the passengers. Airlines treat people like cargo on the way to making their millions! Excessively frequent flights on over busy routes sacrifice passenger comforts and plane timings.

You contemplate what action?

Prevent such issues from occurring. Researching websites reveal the truth about delays. The new rules require airlines to indicate flight delays on websites. If you compare different sites, you will get to know the delay trends according to flight numbers.

If you do lose your way and get stranded on the tarmac for 2 hours, you know what facilities should come your way. Report shortcomings to the airline or file a complaint. Check out the FAQs at http://airconsumer.dot.gov/.

Know More About US Air Passenger rights

Life remains exposed to a number of dangers at all times. Though we hope for the best to happen. As airline passengers, flights canceled, boarding denied and goods lost happen rather commonly. Regulations, laws and procedures ensure that adequate compensations come.

Know the rights before booking flights! Book the flight and lock the fare for 24 hours with no payment done. Book the ticket on the concerned airline and decide within 24 hours whether to avail. Call, lock, and reserve meanwhile for that particular price. Prices change by the moment and something more attractive often comes your way.

Get compensated in cash for denied boarding and delayed luggage. Boarding prevented after booking god knows how long in advance and luggage delayed at destination calls for Cash Compensation. Airlines favor vouchers and discounts, but avoid vague promises relating to the future.

Compensation For Flight Delays

The new rule specifies short delays between one and two hours for domestic flights and one to four hours for international flights. Victims of short delays receive double the ticket price with a $650 limit. Long delays attract compensation of four times the price with a ceiling of $1,300. Inflation adjustments happen every two years. Canceled tickets call for a full refund, even on non-refundable flights.

The US DOT specifies compensation for lost commodities. That includes all parts of the journey and includes interline and code share partners. Airlines pay reasonable refund for baggage damage, loss, and delay. The compensation amounts to $3,300 for domestic flights and $1,500 for international flights. The charges vary according to the luggage value and the duration of the delay.

Redressing grievances

None of the reimbursements come your way unless asked for and sometimes fought for! Courtesy pays rather than irritated arguments. Demands create complications and solutions attract support. Airline officials deal with many problems on a daily basis and many sufferers like you crowd the counters.

  • Speak to the airline customer service. They help more than the gate agents without the airport pressures.
  • Being connected with social media drives much of the world nowadays. Twitter and Facebook possess many hidden capabilities.
  • Resolutions come through two-way communication rather than broadcast pages. Unresolved issues require wall posts and public messages.
  • US DOT maintains consumer contacts with phone numbers and addresses. If other avenues fail, a bigger complaint seems justified.
  • FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) receives complaints concerning airlines at all times. They respond during office hours too. Send written complaints to the mailing address and communicate through the internet too.

Fight For Your Rights

As an interim settlement, afflicted passengers settle for whatever the airlines offer. The compensation offered reduces the extent of liability and delivers cosmetic promises. Vouchers replace cash payments. Also discounts on future flights provide happiness.

Harassment and irritation get in the way. Pushing the matter with multiple reminders may sometimes be necessary. Giving up means losing the compensation you thoroughly deserve. Know the procedure and connect with the right people. Agents deliver such services of claiming compensation too and subtract a fee from the claim amount. The aged and the infirm require such services.

Cash payment compensations wield several advantages rather than vouchers and discounts. Cancellations due to overbooked flights call for refunds too. Airlines try to accommodate passengers on a later flight or even another airline. Canceled commuters reserve the right to demand cash payment.

Get familiar with the US DOT rules

Make a flight booking 7 days in advance of the flight. It allows you to cancel without penalty within 24 hours of the booking. The rule covers non-refundable bookings too. American allows you to hold free for 24 hours. US Airways avoids the rule for award bookings. The rule allows passengers to avoid cancellation charges.




According to new rules, airlines quote all the taxes and fees. Airlines cannot add fuel surcharges and refer to them as taxes.

  • Denied Boarding Compensation criteria cover those with boarding passes present well in time for departure. If overbooking occurs, denied boarding compensation gets availed. Flight cancellations and change of aircraft do not qualify for such compensation. Such situations require the airline to hand over in writing the rules and policies and procedures to claim compensation. Delayed arrivals call for appropriate compensation according to the extent of the delay.
  • Southwest Airlines charges no change of flight and cancellation fees! Passengers use it to great advantage. You pay the difference in fare only while changing flights. Later flights charge more, but a sale reduces the cost and calls for refunds. Refunds come as electronic vouchers used to book new tickets in the same name.
  • Lost baggage rules cover the depreciated value to the tune of $3,300. Airline contracts exclude electronics, jewelry, and money. A claim at an international destination fetches half that amount. Delayed baggage leads to different rules, according to the airline. Airlines require that passengers file a claim and retain a copy for the record. The last airline you flew carries the responsibility. Payment arises for lost luggage only.
  • In this regard, Alaska Airlines guarantees a 20-minute baggage claim after the plane parks at the gate! If delayed beyond 20 minutes, passengers get a $25 Discount Code for a future Alaska Airlines flight. Alternatively, passengers avail 2,500 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ Bonus Miles.
  • Know the European Union rules regarding passenger compensation. Delayed or canceled flights attract compensations. Cancellations or arrivals greater than three hours attract 600 euros that work out to $765. Passengers apply for compensation and most of them encounter objections and rejections. Companies fight for passenger compensation and charge a fee. Claims refer to non-EU carriers too, as long as they fly to or from EU nations.

Fight for Reimbursement of Compensation

Flights bring pleasure up in the clouds. Everything goes fine, even on long haul flights until something goes wrong. Optimism has its own rewards. But the news media teaches us to be on guard. The authorities protect consumer interests and flyer interests too. Problems plaguing flyers regularly include denial of accommodation in overbooked flights, delayed departures and arrivals, parking too long on the tarmac and lost baggage.

Mercifully, each of these shortcomings attracts substantial compensation. Yet problems ensue. Compensations depend upon appropriate claims through proper channels. Airlines maximize their profit making. Thus deny any payments or facilities as long as possible.

Cases go to court if need be though passengers opt for easy ways out. They make compromises according to what the airlines desire. If a large group gets delayed or loses their baggage, a handsome repayment needs to be paid. Agencies do the fighting and take a share.

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