Compensations Passengers Are Entitled To When An American Airlines Flight Is Delayed

For anyone who enjoys adventure and likes to explore, traveling can be a fulfilling and exciting experience. It can also be filled with a few delays, of course. These interruptions are simply part of the experience, like the price you pay for the ultimate goal of reaching your destination. The good news is that in certain situations, you may be able to expect some compensation for your trouble, such as when a flight is delayed or canceled. Each airline has a different policy for how they compensate their guests when this happens. Travelers who fly on American Airlines will be glad to know that the airline offers certain benefits for their passengers when they experience a flight delay or cancellation, and knowing this information in advance can help you prepare for the next time it happens.

Recent data compiled from the Department of Transportation indicates that a majority of flight delays that took place in 2023 were due to issues with the airline, rather than severe weather, per The Washington Post. These issues could include situations such as staffing shortages or scheduling conflicts within the airline. Given that this type of disruption is often the case for delays, American Airlines has provided for these situations by detailing what passengers can expect to help ease their pain.

If the delay is the airline's fault, you can receive compensation

While it may be possible to lower your chances of a flight delay by traveling at certain times of the day, sometimes they are inevitable. American Airlines will offer different types of compensation if a delay is the fault of the airline, per Forbes. If you've been forced to miss a connecting flight, American Airlines will rebook you for free on one of its later flights, or on a partner airline if necessary. If the delay takes place while you're waiting on the tarmac and lasts over two hours, the airline promises to provide access to water, food, restrooms, and medical care if necessary.

If your flight is delayed and you are away from the city where you live, the airline will provide you with a hotel voucher. If these vouchers run out, you're entitled to ask for compensation for a hotel that you pay for yourself, as long as it's a moderate amount. This type of delay would also entitle you to shuttle transportation to and from the hotel, or once again, you may pay for this yourself and ask to be reimbursed later. Any delay that lasts over three hours will give passengers the right to ask for meal vouchers. If the airline cancels your flight, you're allowed to ask for a refund, even on a non-refundable ticket.

Don't wait for the airline to offer compensation

Unfortunately, American Airlines does not offer compensation to passengers who are delayed as a result of the weather. It's also important to understand this distinction ahead of time, because if you travel during a summer thunderstorm, American Airlines won't provide you with meal vouchers as it waits for the rain to subside. If you think that a weather delay is possible, it's better to pack your carry-on so that you're prepared for delays.

It's also important to realize that when an event occurs that makes you eligible for some type of compensation, it's up to you to ask for it. Don't assume that the airline will track you down and hand you vouchers, for example. But if you understand the circumstances where you can make this request, it will give you an advantage. In the meantime, you can always try to stay one step ahead of the process. Become a more savvy traveler by tracking your flight so that you won't be blindsided by another delay.