Know Your FlyingTravel Rights, Just In Time For The Holidays!

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With the Holidays quickly approaching, we know that there are flights in your near future. So we’ve included a refresher on what to do when you encounter the inevitable Holiday travel disruptions.

Lost Luggage

Consider carrying on whenever possible and you can rest easy. But, if you have to check your luggage, make sure to keep valuables out of your luggage, see TSA getting busted for stealing iPads. Also, it is a good idea to keep receipts for anything new in your checked bag. Take a picture of what high value items you do have in your bag so that you can provide documentation in the event your luggage is lost. Also use a credit card that offers protection against lost or stolen items onboard a plane. I used my American Express card once when I lost something onboard the plane and never returned. American Express asked me to file a claim with Delta and with them. Once I submitted the claim with receipt, I was reimbursed for replacement cost of a new item. How awesome is that?

On U.S. flights, airlines are required to refund you up to $3,300 for lost luggage. You should file your claim with the airline. If you have trouble getting your refund; you can contact the Department of Transportation (DOT.) You can view a full list of the DOT rules through their website here.

Overbooked Flights – Involuntarily Bumped

If you are involuntarily bumped, you do not have to settle for a voucher. The Department of Transportation outlines that while traveling on U.S. routes, if the alternate flight that you are forced to take is scheduled to arrive at your destination between one and two hours after your original arrival time (between one and four hours on international flights), the airline must pay you an amount equal to 200% of your one-way fare to your final destination that day, with a $650 maximum. If your new flight is scheduled to arrive more than two hours later, then you are entitled to get 400%, up to $1,300. You can view a full list of the DOT rules through their website here.

Bottom Line

The Holidays are a wonderful time of year. But they are hectic when you have to fly. Know your rights, so that you are prepared in the event of a disruption!

Anyone have good Holiday travel stories from last year or any other travel rights tips?

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The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. From the DOR rules website linked:

    ” If your ticket does not show a fare (for example, a frequent-flyer award ticket or a ticket issued by a consolidator), your denied boarding compensation is based on the lowest cash, check or credit card payment charged for a ticket in the same class of service (e.g., coach, first class) on that flight.”

  2. That would suck if you paid $400 for your ticket, and someone used the ITA Matrix and found a $200 flight and just happened to be on the same outbound as you, but they booked the return trip for an extra day and therefore paid $200 less…… If you are one of the SKY-ELITE-LESS, you end up like Romney, with no place to sit at the dance, and wither into obscurity, with a significantly lighter wallet.

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