What to do if your flight is delayed or canceled

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Thousands of passengers are likely to be stranded at the airport on Tuesday as Americans try to get home after the July 4 holiday weekend.

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With a combination of tropical storms and personnel shortages caused by striking pilots, home travel after the July 4 weekend will be hampered for thousands of Americans.

There have already been 1,634 flight delays and 312 cancellations this afternoon, according to live flight tracking information from FlightAware.

A total of 263 flights were delayed at Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Monday, with 11 others canceled. By Tuesday afternoon, there had been 89 delays and 19 cancellations.

If you’re a traveler trying to get home after the holiday weekend, here are a few things you can try to increase your chances.

Book a new flight via a self-service kiosk

Most people don’t know that you can use a self-service kiosk at your airline’s ticket counter to change flights or receive a new boarding pass, according to American Airlines.

“Scan your boarding pass or enter your check-in locator to see your updated trip details. From here, you can also change flights and print your new boarding passes,” the instructions say on the American Airlines website.

Timing is everything, as receiving a seat on a new flight is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Use an international customer service number

If kiosks aren’t an option, try calling one of your airline’s international call centers instead of a domestic one. US call centers for carriers are likely to be busier, said travel expert Scott Keyes.

“Most US-based travelers don’t think to call the Canadian Delta Hotline. You could reach an agent much faster. They can all handle your reservations the same way,” Keyes told The New York Times.

Keep hotel receipts if you are denied a voucher

Some airlines offer a good hotel and meal voucher to passengers who need to extend their trip unexpectedly, while others do not because they are not required by law to do so.

You can always try to file a claim with your airline later if you don’t receive a voucher and are forced to stay in a hotel, according to travel rights organization AirHelp. Keeping your receipts for any expenses not covered by the airline will help your case.

Above all else, knowledge is power. Be sure to check your airline’s policy before approaching the counter. Below are the delay and cancellation policies of some US-based airlines:

You could get a refund depending on the circumstances

Airlines are required by federal law to honor refunds for passengers who cannot travel due to a significant delay or cancellation, the U.S. Department of Transportation said.

Especially if the delay or cancellation is due to staff shortages or mechanical failure, you can increase your chances of getting home by taking advantage of the refund and booking a flight with another airline that goes to your destination. the same day.

Evan Santiago is a reporter for the Charlotte Observer and writes for the publication’s Service Journalism Desk. He is originally from New York and is currently based in Queen City where he works to help local readers with the challenges that come with everyday life in the modern world.

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