The Brown & Crouppen Legal Lens takes a closer look at everyday legal issues and gives you a better understanding of topics that may affect you.
ST. LOUIS – This summer, airlines have been experiencing delays and canceling flights for many travelers. In this week’s Legal Lens, Andrea McNairy, the managing attorney for Brown & Crouppen, explains to FOX 2’s Vic Faust what legal help you have.
Does the law require airlines to do anything for customers who get the short end of the stick with reservations being canceled?
“Most people really are surprised that there aren’t really a lot of U.S. laws that apply to your flight delays or cancellations,” said McNairy. “The ones that do are very specific to what they called regular operations or what we called overbooking flights or some extremely long tarmac delays. Most of what you are entitled to is your purchase of a ticket and formulation of a contract with the airlines. That’s why my number one tip is the read fine print and read what you are entitled to because every carrier can be different.”
What if my flight is delayed? Do I have recourse?
“Federal law does provide that passengers either get compensation in form of money or a voucher, but it goes by each airline’s policy,” said McNairy. “If your flight is delayed, not every airline is going to provide hotel rooms or meals so you need to ask specifically what your airlines will do for you.”
You have seen airlines overselling these days, any recourse there?
“This is a specific part of the law,” said McNairy. “If they are overbooking flights there are two paths here, if you voluntarily bump your flight we have seen airlines offer huge vouchers to take a later flight. You can get that in a voucher form or ask for cash. If you are involuntarily bumped, they can do that then the FAA requires the airline to provide you with your rights in writing, and depending on how long the wait is, you could be eligible for good compensation in cash.”