Da-Lays part deux

Buffalo Travel Blog

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I'm not going to reiterate what is in the following like.. but this is important stuff to know.

http://www.mytravelrights.com/travellaw.cfm?ai=3

It concerns rule 240 which is what your rights are as a passenger in a situation where the airline has a non-act-of-god delay which is seriously messing with your flight plans.  Anyone who has serious flight plans, should have a copy of this rule for the airline that they are flying with them just in case (like if you're flying out for a relative's 90th birthday or something and really must get there). 

From united's rule 240:

When a passenger will be delayed because of a schedule irregularity involving a United Airlines flight, which for the purposes of this rule … flights exceeding 2 hours … United Airlines will transport the passenger without stopover on its next flight on which space is available in the same class of service as the passenger’s original outbound flight at no additional cost to the passenger. If United Airlines is unable to provide onward transportation acceptable to the passenger, United Airlines, with the concurrence of the passenger, will arrange for the transportation on another carrier or combination of carriers with whom United Airlines has agreements for such transportation. The passenger will be transported without stopover on its (their) next flight(s), in the same class of service as the passenger’s original outbound flight at no additional cost to the passenger. If space is only available and used on a United flight(s) of a lower class of service acceptable to the passenger, United Airlines will provide a refund of the difference in fares pursuant to Rule 260 (Refunds-Involuntary). If United Airlines is unable to arrange alternate air transportation acceptable to the passenger, United Airlines shall refund the flight coupon(s) for the unflown portion(s) in accordance with Rule 260 (Refunds-Involuntary).

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The part that I have bolded is quite important.  Basically, in the event of a mechanical issue over 2 hours, united has to provide for transportation to your destination on the next united aircraft (within 2 hours) or you can request to be placed on another airline to provide you that transportation.  Do keep in mind, a lot of customer service agents are not aware of their own airline's policies so having a copy of this with you is important as you can show it to them.  Most travellers don't know about these rules so they aren't aware that during these situations they are within their rights to request to be flown on a different airline if united cannot accomodate them.

Side note: I've resolved a number of contentious customer service issues by having a copy of the airline's policies with me (baggage restrictions and the like).  Sometimes you feel like a jerk, but honestly, its your rights as a passenger and you should be able to exercise them if there is need.
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