It was another tough day for US airline passengers, to put it mildly.
As of 5:50 p.m. EST on Friday, more than 1,300 flights had been canceled in the United States, including more than 5,600 later, according to FlightAware. Some of Friday’s problems could be due to planes not being able to make their first morning flights after Thursday’s cancellations.
American Airlines has canceled more than 240 of its flights – about 7% of its schedule – not including flights operated by its regional subsidiaries.
Republic Airlines, a regional carrier that operates under the American Eagle, Delta Connection and United Express brands, in addition to operating some of its own flights, also recorded more than 240 cancellations, or 24% of its Friday schedule.
The Federal Aviation Administration has implemented delay programs at airports from Boston to Atlanta by Friday evening and warned that delays were likely to pile up overnight and could also extend to Florida. Western airports are also affected by the weather.
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Summer press for the air network
Earlier in the pandemic, airlines downsized as people stayed home. But with restrictions lifted, people are traveling this summer like it’s 2019 all over again, and carriers say they don’t have enough people on their rosters to fly at their planned times.
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Experts say it could take up to a year for things to normalize.
What you are entitled to if your flight is canceled
If your flight is canceled and you choose not to travel on a new route, the Department of Transport asks your airline to reimburse you, even if you purchased a non-refundable ticket.
In case of delay, the rules are a little more vague. The DOT says passengers are entitled to compensation for “significant” delays, but the department has yet to define what qualifies as significant.
Airline compensation:What you are entitled to if your flight is canceled or delayed
This ultimately means, for now, that it is up to each airline to decide how and when to compensate passengers whose flights are delayed.
The DOT announced earlier this week that they are plans to clarify these rules and make them more user-friendly. Wednesday, the agency opened a portal for public comments on updates to their Cancellation and Delay Compensation policies.