It was another tough day for US airline passengers, to put it mildly.
As of 3 p.m. ET on Friday, more than 1,100 flights had been canceled in the United States, and more than 3,700 others delayed, 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 the most cancellations so far, with around 200 flights axed, representing 6% of the carrier’s schedule for the day. However, these figures do not include American Eagle flights operated by the airline’s regional subsidiaries.
The Federal Aviation Administration has implemented delay programs at airports in the Northeast on Friday afternoon, and warned that air traffic restrictions could extend to South Florida before the end of the day. Western airports are also affected by weather conditions.
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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.