Every industry has its secrets and in-talks, right? So does the airline industry. How many of them do you know?
This article shall discuss eleven such insights or secrets that can help you as a passenger before booking your next flight.
Let’s begin with a familiar one:
1. If you have to cancel your flight booking, do it with 24 hours of original booking!
Yes, everyone knows it! But, did you know that nearly all major airlines refund your ticket in full up to a week before the scheduled flight?
Some airlines have taken a step forward. Southwest airline, for example, has profitable refund schemes and cheap last-minute flights!
Although, there are other factors like direct reservation or third-party booking, always make it a point to carefully go through terms and conditions before confirming a flight booking.
2. Don’t accept airline vouchers for compensation if you are bumped off a flight!
Everyone knows that overbooking is a common airline practice. However, if you get the short-end of the stick and are bumped off the flight, always go for the refund or compensation in cash.
Stay clear of the vouchers as they are not as lucrative. Moreover, the airlines are going to try their best to not delay your original time of arrival and actual by more than an hour.
If they succeed, you get no compensation. However, in case of delay of your domestic flight by two hours, and international by four hours, the airlines have to pay you twice the airfare for one way!
3. Conditions of Carriages!
Another fun fact, do you know about rule 240? The federal aviation rule mandated an airline to transfer the passenger to another airline’s flights provided the latter can move the passenger quicker.
The bad news is that it is long been defunct. However, the good news is that some of the US airlines have filed for ‘conditions of carriages’ with the United States Department of Transport. The contract offers similar privileges.
Therefore, before you board a flight in or to the United States of America, always check for the condition of carriages. On the other hand, if you are traveling across Europe, check for a flight compensation regulation 261/2004.
4. You can claim the compensation in case airlines amend your itinerary
So, if you are delayed for unreasonably long, you get paid the difference in the itinerary. For instance, if the airline does exercise the ‘conditions of carriages’ and places you on a competitor’s flight, you will get the entire payment for the new air ticket.
Moreover, the airline is also liable to pay for extra fees, if any. A great example is, imagine you get delayed due to technical difficulties or other such inconvenience caused by the airline. And, the new airline is full, except for a first-class seat. It is yours.
Although you have to be lucky for that, it is very much possible!
5. If you are delayed, you can keep the original ticket as well
And, suppose if the above delay happens, and you are transferred to the premium section of the plane, you get to keep the original ticket for later.
Although, it is natural for a traveler to assume that the airline is all right to cancel the original booking. However, you do not have to cancel the ticket if you wish against it.
Also, instead of asking for a discount for flight tickets, you can amend the booking and use it for the return trip! Just get in touch with the airport staff.
Worst case scenario, you can transfer the ticket to one of your family members!
6. Travelers may get a refund on a non-refundable flight ticket
Yes, it is indeed possible to convert a non-refundable ticket into a refundable one.
However, you need a little luck on your side.
Suppose, you get delayed unreasonably, or you are transferred from a nonstop flight to a connecting flight, you can claim a refund, even on a non-refundable ticket.
Also, if there are any additional charges paid for upgrading your itinerary, you are eligible for a refund. Say, you paid for extra seat pitch, or perhaps Wi-Fi connection, you have the right to demand a refund.
7. You can get a higher sum in the European continent
Traveling to Europe has its benefits. Notably, their flight refund policies. In general case, for instance, you can claim 250 Euros for flights less than 1500 km. 400 Euros if the flight distance is 1500-3500 km. Lastly, up to 600 Euros for flights exceeding 3500 km.
However, bear in mind that the airlines have the right to cut down compensation by as much as half the amount, based on the length of the delay.
8. Negotiate with the airlines for delayed luggage!
Yes, in case of delayed luggage, the airlines are accountable to compensate for the delay. Usually, the airlines will calculate the amount per day. And generally, it is way less than the airline can offer.
Let’s say if you missed your business flight to India because of mechanical failure. You are eligible for higher compensation.
Most of the lost luggage is retrieved within a 24 to 48-hour window. You can bargain with the airlines and you may come to terms.
9. Get benefits in case of a flight delay!
On arrival or upon departure in the United States of America, if you find yourself sitting on an immobile aircraft for a period of time extending 3 hours on a domestic flight, you can walk away.
This is a tarmac delay. The duration of time is four hours on an international flight. You are eligible to get benefits. Also, the cabin crew obliges to pass food and supplies for every two hours of delay.
10. Get a complimentary seat upgrade!
The rows near the exit are usually the last ones for sale. These seats are generally costlier, and better. Also, such seats are for pilots or flight attendants. Be kind, and ask for the seat in the exit row. If you are a frequent flyer, then it is an added advantage.
Try not to negotiate with the staff at the check-in counter, as it is usually futile. However, the gate agent may give you access to those seats.
11. Get cheapest flight tickets online
The best cheap flight offers and deals are available online. Always make the booking well in advance from flight booking portals.
So, there is nothing that cannot be arranged for. The key is to be polite. The airport staff is there to help you. Even if they mess up, you are not likely to get a solution by getting mad at them. However, it is only going to slow things down.
Therefore, the secrets above are going to contribute to better flight experience. Put on a smile, and carry a positive attitude and happy flying!