During the past weekend, over 2,000 Southwest flights were cancelled. Are the passengers eligible for a refund or compensation?
Starting Friday, the 8th of October, a large number of Southwest flights were cancelled. The airline states that these were mostly caused by disruptive weather, issues with air traffic control and the airline’s own scheduling problems.
Tens of thousands of passengers had to suddenly change their plans, booking new, more expensive flights with other airlines and spending additional money on unexpected hotel stays, taxis, and food.
Can passengers of the Southwest cancelled flights anticipate a refund or even compensation from the airline?
Can I get a refund for my cancelled Southwest flight?
According to the Department of Transportation’s regulations, “A passenger is entitled to a refund if the airline cancelled a flight, regardless of the reason, and the passenger chooses not to travel.”
Can I get compensated for my delayed or cancelled Southwest flight?
Unfortunately, American regulations do not require airlines to compensate passengers in the event of a cancelled flight. The Department of Transportation’s regulations state that “Airlines are not required to provide passengers with money or other compensation for costs that fall outside of the cancelled airline ticket and fees tied directly to the airline ticket.”
If you experienced a Southwest flight cancellation, you will most likely not be getting any compensation from the airline — including reimbursement of additional expenses.
Did you have a cancelled or delayed flight to Europe or UK in the last 6 years?
Then you might be eligible for a refund + compensation + reimbursement!
The European air passenger law is much more pro-consumer than the American one. In the case of a delayed or cancelled flight to Europe or the UK, you might be eligible for up to 520 British pounds or 600 euro in compensation + a refund + reimbursement of additional expenses (e.g. hotel, taxi, food).
If you are flying between European countries, these regulations always apply. However, if you are flying between the US and Europe, the compensation and refund policies apply only when:
- You are flying with an American airline from Europe to the USA — e.g. from Paris to Atlanta with Delta. Flights with American airlines from the USA to Europe are not covered!
- You are flying with a European airline either from or to the USA — e.g. from NYC to Paris with Air France.