As a frequent flyer, you may occasionally be the unfortunate victim of a flight cancelation. Such an event can disrupt your travel itinerary, cause you to postpone meetings and reorganize your vacation time.
If you have paid for a refundable ticket, you should be entitled to compensation from the airline. Things change if you chose a non-refundable fare. In most cases, you cannot claim compensation and you are left empty-handed.
Nevertheless, there are a few exceptions where you can ask for some form of coverage, and even obtain it.
How to get your money back on a non-refundable fare
If your flight is canceled due to a major schedule change, you will get back the amount that you paid for your flight ticket. Unfortunately, you will not receive a cent more as compensation. You may accuse the company of mistreatment, but it will not get you anywhere good.
There is one exception where you may ask for coverage in the case of a flight cancelation. Airlines are forced to hold a reservation of the fare for 24 hours without payment for the fare. So, if you buy your ticket at the last minute with less than a day before the scheduled departure, and the flight gets canceled, you may ask for a form of remuneration.
Compensation conditions for all fares
Whether you have bought a refundable or a non-refundable ticket, you are entitled to compensation under the following conditions:
- Your flight has been delayed for more than 3 hours or more
- Your flight was canceled less than 2 weeks before departure
- You were bumped from your flight
- You are denied boarding due to overbooking
- You had a confirmed flight reservation from the airline
All of these conditions apply if the flight disruption was within the airline’s control, and even if it did not occur within a recent period. You may claim compensation if your inconvenience happened any time within the last 3 years regardless of your flight fare was refundable or not.
How to prevent financial loss from canceled flights
Your best choice is to buy refundable fares every time you plan to travel by air. The extra costs are significant, but they will not make you apply for bankruptcy. In the case of a flight cancelation, you will congratulate yourself on the decision of paying for this option.
Another good tip to avoid losing the money on the flight ticket is to check the company’s cancelation policy. Study it closely to find the legal gateways that will enable you to claim compensation when your entire trip planning dissolves for causes that are out of your control.
Last, but not least, employing the services of a professional company in the field may provide you with a significant chance of getting compensation for a non-refundable fare. With the right expertise, one such firm may compile a substantial case against the airline and help you receive coverage for your losses.