All set for your dream vacation? Got your travel visa issued and flight tickets ready? Have a perfect international tour package booked with wondrous sights to explore? And you got it all done at lightning-fast speed without any hassle! Nothing can spoil your mood and dampen your spirits now, can they? Now, imagine when you reach the airport and come to know your flight got canceled. Disheartening, isn’t it? Doesn’t matter if it is one of the best airports in the world, you don’t want to spend your time waiting at an airport instead of flying off to your destination.
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Well, don’t be disheartened. Hopefully, this minor hiccup won’t create panic or havoc on your travel plans. If your flight gets canceled, you are entitled to certain compensations such as a refund, or a travel voucher, or you will be accommodated on an alternate flight. Let us have a look at them, shall we?
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Firstly, airlines are required to inform you beforehand if your flight gets canceled. These are some things you are entitled to in this case:
- If the airline informs you about your flight cancellation between 2 weeks and 24 hours before your scheduled departure time, then the airline must provide you with an alternate ticket or refund your ticket amount.
- DGCA states that the airlines should also provide you with free-of-charge meals if you reported to the original flight that got canceled and are made to wait until an alternate flight is arranged.
- In case of flight cancellation, in most cases, airlines do not provide accommodation; you need to arrange for your own accommodation. However, there can be exceptions wherein some airlines provide accommodations for you to spend the night if the flight got canceled between 10 pm and 6 am and no alternate flight is available for a long time.
- If you are informed that your flight got canceled less than 6 hours before the scheduled departure time and are provided with alternate flight arrangements, then it is the responsibility of the airline to make transfer arrangements for you to the airport or the terminal from where the alternate flight is scheduled.
- Note that chances of getting a refund are less if you have booked connecting flights of different airlines and either of the flight got canceled. So, try booking the connecting flights of the same airline if possible
- There are certain situations where airlines are allowed to compensate you with travel vouchers or credits instead of a financial refund, and there is no strict rule to it.
- If your flight gets canceled, you can re-book an alternate flight without paying anything or pay the surplus charge if there is a difference in the fare. You may choose this option if the airlines have not provided you with an alternate flight in place of the canceled flight and you don’t want to cancel the trip. The difference in the airfare can also be adjusted in the compensation or the traveling voucher and you won’t have to pay a single penny. However, be sure to be vigilant about this option.
- Ideally, the refund time may vary when a flight gets canceled. It varies from an immediate refund if paid by cash, or upto 7 days when paid by credit card. You may have to be patient while receiving your refund or compensation and have to keep checking with the airline.
- Also, try to understand why your flight got canceled. It could be anything from a mechanical failure, bad weather resulting in turbulence, some sort of emergency, etc. Predicting things like sudden bad weather or emergencies is difficult in such cases; a little understanding toward the airline staff from your end could work in your favor. Remember, the airline staff is facing hundreds of angry flyers; some compassion and kindness towards them will be appreciated.
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Traveling is one of the best ways to rejuvenate oneself, and we generally make travel plans way before the actual dates. It is frustrating to see our well-planned holiday go haywire due to flight cancellations.
Next time, if you face such an issue, keep yourself equipped with all the information provided here to save yourself unnecessary frustration and to keep the total losses at bay.
Every airline has its own terms and conditions in line with the DGCA guidelines. Please make sure to go through their cancellation and refund policies thoroughly before booking your ticket to avoid any roadblock that you may face in case your flight gets canceled.
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