Did you hear about the seat puncher?
American Airlines passenger, Wendi Williams, was enjoying her flight until the person sitting behind her kept hitting her seat, and hard. After failing to get the flight attendants’ attention, she began filming the ordeal with her phone.
Wendi wasn’t sure what her passenger rights were, but she was pretty confident she had the right to not have her seat punched. When the flight attendant saw Wendi was filming with her cellphone, she told her to delete the video.
After refusing to delete the video the flight attendant issued Wendi a passenger disturbance notice. The whole thing went viral, and now Wendi’s pressing charges.
Hopefully, you’ll never have to enter a negative flight experience like Wendi’s. Chances are though, you’ll face some type of flight obstacle eventually. When trouble comes your way, it helps if you know what to do about it.
Read on to find out about your rights as a flight passenger.
Passenger Rights for Airfares
First, you should know your passenger rights when it comes to airfares. When you go to buy an airline ticket, you’ll notice that there’s a wide variety of options for you to choose from. Airline prices are highly competitive, so it’ll be easy for you to price shop online.
You can price shop for tickets either using the airline websites, or third-party reservation sites. If you’re new to traveling, you can also get the help of a travel agent or separate ticket outlet.
Finally, you also have the right to call the airline that services the place you want to go to. Keep in mind that certain airlines will charge a special fee if you buy a ticket anywhere other than online.
It’s always a good idea to keep your eyes and ears open for advertisements in your local area for discounted tickets. Radio advertisements, online ads, and newspapers are all great ways to find out about promotions that will help save you money.
If you hear about a new company entering the airline industry, don’t waste any time checking to see if they have new deals. The moment a new company enters the market, there’s a limited amount of time to cash in on savings opportunities. It’s common for new companies to offer lower rates or special services to attract new customers.
Let’s say you find the perfect destination for your vacation. Once you decide when you want to travel there, and the airline you’ll use to get there, you have to reserve your seat.
Certain larger airlines will be willing to hold a reservation without payment. However other airlines will demand that you pay the moment you make a reservation.
To help you choose your ticket, check out these tips:
- Check on-time performance records
- Double-check information for accuracy
- Look at the stops column
- Be aware of four-digit flight numbers
- Thoroughly review ticket confirmation
First, you’ll want to check the on-time performance percentages for the flight that you’re considering taking. Airlines have to post their on-time performance information on their websites.
Airlines are also required by law to post any information regarding past problems with serious delays or cancellations. If you’re having trouble deciding between two flights, and they have a similar price point, let the on-time performance records be your deciding factor.
Double Check Reservations
Next, always double-check the information you put in before reserve in your spot and buying your ticket. One small error, such as a spelling mistake, could make it impossible for you to board your flight.
If you’re taking a flight that has stops, you’ll want to check the departure and arrival times for each stop. Make sure that all of the times are going to work well with your flight needs.
You should also be aware of flight numbers that only have four digits. If you’re going to a small city, and you have a 4-Digit flight number, you might be taking a flight on a small airline acting under a big airline’s name.
Sometimes small airline carriers will partner with a major carrier to make it look like you’re buying a ticket from them. These are sometimes referred to as codeshare flights. If you think you might be booking a codeshare flight, ask the reservations agent.
The department of transportation requires that you’re legally provided information about any codeshare flights. Should you ever suspect your rights are being violated, contact an airplane accident lawyer.
Dealing With Delays
Flights are subject to all sorts of things that can go wrong, making it impossible for airlines to guarantee arrival times. Difficult weather, and issues with air traffic, are all outside of the airline’s control.
The moment you find out that your flight is experiencing a delay, go ahead and find out how late it’ll be. It might be difficult for the airline to give you a good timeline of when your flight will arrive, but it’s okay to ask anyways.
You may have to deal with delay updates, as the airline agents inform you of developments for your delayed flight. If you find out your flights delayed because of bad weather, you don’t have a lot of options. You’ll simply have to wait out the bad weather.
However, let’s say that you are experiencing a particularly long delay, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the weather. If it’s not weather-related, you might want to consider changing to another flight.
Call for Flight Changes
We find that it’s often easier to deal with airline agents over the phone than in person. If you’re looking to make changes to your ticket, call the airline company before going up to the counter person. When you call, check with the airline if you’ll have to pay any kind of cancellation penalty or higher fare fee for switching your reservation.
Sit Back and Relax
There you have it, the top passenger rights everyone should know about. The next time you go flying, you can sit back and relax, knowing you can handle whatever comes your way.
Traveling can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. For more ways to enjoy your next trip, check out the rest of this site.