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The Rights and Entitlements of Fliers

Frank Sinatra sang about flying to the moon and playing among the stars. I’m not sure how long a flight like that would take, but it is probably shorter than my last flight delay. Traveling by airplane can be a huge inconvenience. If everything goes well, crossing the country by plane can save you a lot of time. But if things go wrong, driving a car would have been much easier.

It seems we have to get to the airport earlier and earlier to make it through all the checkpoints before we are actually allowed to board our flight. If fate is against us, all that hustling is wasted. Our flight is delayed because of airline issues, overbooking, or bad weather.

The airline is usually not much help. They provide vague information and will not let you know exactly when your flight will be leaving. The attendants can be downright rude when you ask them questions about how long it will be. Most of the time you feel like you are in a no-win situation.

Until now. There are laws to compensate you for delayed flights that perhaps you did not realize existed. The airline has to make good on compensation in many situations. Since 2005, Europe has had a passenger’s bill of rights to protect the passengers in such circumstances. The United States has had a passenger’s bill of rights since 2009. Canada is a bit behind on the times and will usually only provide vouchers for meals and such if flights are very late.

Any flights to or from Europe that are delayed for any reason over three hours can be compensated. The airline must pay compensation to each passenger of an amount up to $900. Why is this not public knowledge? The airlines do not want to publicize this. How many flights are delayed every single day? They will be paying out a small fortune if people know this compensation rule about delayed flights.

The actual amount of compensation is calculated by how long the delay is and how many miles your flight will be. All airlines departing from the European Union has to follow these passenger bill of rights. Even better, after a two-hour delay, the airline is responsible for providing the passengers documentation outlining the amounts of compensation. How many of you have received this documentation? You can get a monetary compensation in case of a delayed flight. It is the law.

The law from 2009 in the United States is a bit different. The airlines will only provide vouchers for compensation in the event your flight is delayed for more than three hours because of overbooking of the flight. What airlines bribed the right members of the government in the United States when making this law?

The airlines are basically never going to have to compensate any passengers because of this rule in the United States. I have never heard of a flight delayed for more than three hours because of overbooking. We have all seen the videos lately on the news. Don’t the employees for the airlines just offer compensation to the actual passengers that will sit this flight out? Then if they don’t take it, a random sort of lottery is drawn and the “winners” have to vacate the plane or be forced to do so.

Hold the airlines accountable when your flight is delayed. The airline employees at the terminals will avoid the issue when brought up. They will offer vouchers or something similar to try to appease your argument. However, they should be compensating you with actual money. Call and email the airline if they fail to compensate you appropriately. Do not let them off the hook like 98 percent of all other passengers.


  1. Ugh. It’s disgusting what the airlines have been doing to people lately. I hope they get the pants sued off of them for the way they’ve treated people so belligerently. Good to know this info!

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