What are your rights if your flight is delayed? Or lose your luggage?

Michael Finney Image
Wednesday, December 28, 2022
What are your rights if your flight is delayed?
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What happens if you are one of the thousands of passengers who got stranded by your airline? What are you owed?

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- What happens if you are one of the thousands of passengers who got stranded by your airline? What are you owed?

To get compensated for delays, the airline must be at fault.

MORE: Southwest captain explains why airline had widespread cancellation of scheduled flights across US

If your flight is delayed by weather, you are entitled to no compensation at all.

Over the past few days, there has been a lot going on. Delays and cancellations for many passengers; some weather-related and some potentially not.

VIDEO: NorCal couple forced to take 8-hour train ride home after Southwest cancels flight

Sonoma-based Flyers Rights has been fighting for passenger rights for decades. Staff attorney Andrew Appelbaum gives us the break down on what you are owed if you don't take your flight.

"The airlines offered weather waivers for people who wanted to change their flights to avoid the severe weather problems. But if you attempted to travel and the airline cancelled your flight, or significantly changed the scheduling of the flight, passengers are owed refunds. This is called an involuntary refund," he said.

You may be offered a flight voucher, but if you didn't make the decision not to fly, you are owed a cash or credit card refund.

How do you even go about getting your refund?

If you booked through the airline, you go to the airline.

But if you booked through an online-or-offline brick and mortar travel agency, you've got to go through them.

MORE: Southwest Airlines continues canceling thousands of flights as New Year holiday approaches

What happens if you lose your luggage?

If your luggage is lost, you are owed as much as $3,800 for a domestic flight and $1,850 for an international flight.

You have to prove what you lost, and some high-value items are excluded depending on the airline.

If your luggage is just delayed, the airlines have to help you out.

RELATED: Southwest cancellations especially challenging for elderly passengers, those with limited mobility

"If the airline mishandles your luggage and it separates you from your luggage, passengers are entitled to some compensation for out-of-pocket expenses such as for toiletries that they may need to purchase, or items of clothing that they may need to purchase," said Appelbaum.

Once your luggage arrives at home or your destination, if you request it, the airline must deliver your luggage to an address of your choice free of charge.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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