How to Get Paid When Your Flight Is Delayed

How to Get Paid When Your Flight Is Delayed


May 1 2019, Published 5:49 p.m. ET

There is truly almost nothing that exists that causes as much stress, frustration, and aggravation as a flight that has been delayed. While it is a widely accepted fact that whatever flight you choose, in whatever city you’re in, there is more than a 50% chance your flight will be delayed.

Flight delays are the worst. However, there is some small consolation in knowing that you’re not always stuck paying for the airline’s mistake in the end.

There are certain situations, scenarios, and ways in which airlines pay customers for a delayed or canceled flight. Keep reading to find out how to get paid when your flight is delayed. 

When Compensation is Possible

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Not every delay or cancelation is eligible for compensation. There are only certain situations where an airline is required to or even will offer some form of compensation.


Everyone knows overbooking is a common tactic used by airlines to ensure the plane is full and to account for anyone who does not arrive for their travel. When an overbooking occurs, customers are either voluntarily or involuntarily bumped off the flight.

Airlines must first find volunteers who are willing to give up their seat on the plane before involuntarily bumping customers. In the event, you volunteer to get bumped you will receive compensation usually in the form of a seat on a different flight.

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If you are involuntarily bumped, the Department of Transportation has mandated that airlines must provide compensation in the form of cash or check. The amount of the compensation is usually up to the cost of the ticket with the length of the delay being factored in as well.  However, it is up to the airline as to how much your compensation is going to be.

Baggage Delays

It’s still mind blowing every time it happens. Both you and your bags left City A headed for City B on the same plane at the same time. Only you arrive in City B and somehow your baggage has arrived in City D. City D was never an option, but there your bag is. 

In certain situations, this can lead to an airline compensating you. Here are examples of this:

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  • If sporting equipment is delayed, the airliner may compensate you for the rental of the missing equipment until it arrives.
  • In emergency situations, most airline employees are authorized to compensate you for emergencies

When it comes to being bumped and baggage being delayed always ask the airline what they can do for you in those situations, and if they have any advice. While compensation may not be an option, the airline employee might have a better solution for your predicament than you do.

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Third-Party Claims Filing

When it comes to getting compensation from an airline, the best option is to find a third-party company to handle the claim for you. Airlines are notorious for giving customers the run around when it comes to paying out compensation.

These third-party companies exist to ensure your claim process goes as smooth as possible. Because they work with these airlines regularly in these situations they know exactly what their policies state as well as what the laws are.

While trying to deal with airlines on your own may seem like a no-win situation, finding a company to fight on your behalf might be the best way to go. Be sure to do your research with these companies, however.

Each one offers different features and services as well as different fees and payment plans. Be sure to find the option that works best for your situation and budget.

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Compensation From Airlines

When it comes to flight delays, there is little that can make up for the stress, frustration, and anxiety that comes along with them. However, knowing that in certain situations airlines are required or willing to pay out compensation can be a relief.

Not every flight delay or cancelation meets the criteria for compensation. However, in certain situations like getting bumped from your flight and even when your baggage is delayed, can result in the airline paying you money.

If you feel you are entitled to compensation but the airline is dragging their feet, there are third-party companies that can work with the airline on your behalf to get you paid. These companies usually charge a fee for their service, but when you’re at your wit’s end, sometimes having someone else fight your battles for you is much appreciated. 


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