As travelers gear up for flying over the long Fourth of July weekend, fingers are crossed that travel schedules go as planned. Most plans will go off without a hitch, but there's always a few who get the short end of the travel stick when their flights are canceled. Weather, mechanical problems, and shortage of crew are a few reasons why flights might be delayed or canceled altogether.
The Associated Press prepared a tip sheet with what you can do if your flight is canceled. Familiarize yourself with the action plan before you leave for the airport.
- "Try to be rebooked. Some major airlines have interline agreements that allow them to easily rebook a passenger on another carrier." This option wouldn't lead to additional costs on your end.
- "Request a refund. Most airlines will refund the amount you paid for a ticket if they cancel your flight and can't accommodate you on another flight that gets you to your destination on the day you were expecting." If you take the refund route, the AP warns that the walk-up fare for purchasing a ticket from another airline may be much higher than your original ticket.
See the rest of the action plan when you
- "Ask for a hotel room. American Airlines says that if a delay or cancellation was caused by events within its control and it does not get a passenger to his or her final destination on the expected arrival day, it will provide "reasonable" overnight accommodations, subject to availability."
- To avoid any surprises when you arrive at the airport, "make sure your airline has your email address or telephone number so it can alert you in the event that it cancels or reschedules your flight."
- "Try to negotiate." The airlines' eagerness to keep customers might play to your advantage.