Can I Get A Refund For My Cancelled Flight?

Can I Get A Refund For My Cancelled Flight?

This weekend over 3,500 flights were cancelled or in the U.S. due to a combination of weather and technological issues in Florida.

Many had no choice but to wait for another flight because they needed to get home; but for others, the question became whether to reschedule or get a refund.

For consumers unsure of how to proceed let me be clear: you are entitled to a full refund if your flight was cancelled.

It says clearly on the Department of Transportation website that you are due a refund if:

  •  The airline cancelled a flight, regardless of the reason, and the consumer chooses not to travel [or]
  •  If the airline made a significant schedule change and/or significantly delays a flight and the consumer chooses not to travel.

In these cases you are entitled to a refund for the flight; this applies to non-refundable tickets as well.

However, for those who experienced delays, this is a bit trickier.

You see, there is no set definition of what constitutes a significant delay; that is set by the individual airlines. 

As a result, you may need to be persistent if you were or are going to be stranded for hours. 

Here are the time frames for the major airlines:

  • American Airlines: 4 hours
  • Delta Airlines: 2 hours
  • JetBlue: 2 hours
  • Spirit: 2 hours

I spoke with travelers who were affected by cancellations this weekend and many complained they were offered a voucher for a future flight and not  a refund. This happened with several people I spoke with flying with Jet Blue and American Airlines. 

If you feel you are not getting a refund you are due, you can ask to speak with management or file a complaint with the Department of Transportation using this form

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Author Profile: Consumer Expert Tracy Ortiz

I am a mom to 2 little boys: a 10 year- old and an 8 year-old and they are the only things I love more than writing. I am an avid reader, a big sports fan and love a good deal. Most of all, I love keeping up on the latest consumer news and sharing my findings with all of you. When I'm not writing I'm painting- check out my latest in my shop:

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