What right to claim from Southwest Airlines when the flight is delayed

Imagine that you have planned a honeymoon, bought an excursion to Cuba. But at the last minute, the airline Southwest Airlines contacted you to inform you that your flight has been canceled or it will take off after a few hours delay. No problem, there are enough scheduled flights to your destination, you can choose the convenient one for connecting. And then the day of the long-awaited trip arrives, and suddenly you get a message from the airline that the flight is delayed for two hours or more. It’s unpleasant, but it doesn’t matter; you have specifically chosen a flight with a time margin in order to be assured of reaching your destination.

You arrive at the airport, then it turns out that the flight is delayed for an indefinite period. Missing your flight is inevitable, but you always leave your departure airport with your late flight in the hope of buying new tickets. In the end, it turns out that due to a flight delay, you lost a day of sightseeing and paid a small fee for new tickets. And here the question arises whether the airline Southwest Airlines, which allowed the delay of the flight, should reimburse you for the losses, pay a fine and or compensate for moral damage.

Flight delay compensation

More or less unambiguously, it can be said that in the event of a flight delay of five hours or more, the passenger has the right to a refund of the amount of his plane ticket. Such a refund under US law is compulsory and entitles the passenger to recover the full cost of the tickets, whether purchased at a refundable or non-refundable fare.

The reason for the flight delay or cancellation does not matter. The ticket price must be refunded even if the flight was delayed due to circumstances beyond the control of the airline (bad weather, technical malfunction of the aircraft, …).

However, sometimes, even in the seemingly most obvious cases, courts are reluctant to meet passenger demands.

Information obligations of the air carrier

In accordance with the Air Code of the United States, the carrier is required to provide passengers with accurate and timely information on the movement of aircraft and the services provided.
Regular flights are operated in accordance with the flight schedule, which is published on the Internet, and charter flights – in accordance with the plan (schedule) of charter flights.

The air carrier must take all possible measures to inform passengers of the aircraft schedule change by any available means (by telephone, by e-mail, by SMS notification). In addition, information about the flight delay, as well as the reasons for the delay, should be brought to the attention of passengers at the airport by audio notification and in visual form (on the departure board).

What to do if the Southwest Airlines flight is delayed?

If after the flight delay you have not changed your mind about the flight and refused the tickets, the air carrier is obliged to provide you with the following services free of charge:

In all cases – provide a mother and child room to a passenger with a child under the age of seven;
If waiting for a departing flight for more than two hours: provide non-alcoholic drinks and the possibility of making two phone calls or sending two e-mails;

If you wait more than fout hours for the departure of the flight: provide hot meals (then every 6 hours during the day and every eight hours at night);

In case of waiting for the departure of the flight for more than 8 hours during the day and more than six hours at night: hotel accommodation, as well as transport from the airport to the hotel and back;
Important: The waiting time for the flight departure starts from the flight departure time indicated on the ticket.

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