Yippee! Airlines must now issue automatic refunds for canceled flights

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/04/24/yippee-airlines-must-now-issue-automatic-refunds-for-canceled-flights.html


This is great! With violent storms and increased air turbulence putting dents and holes into scheduling this couldn’t have come at a better time.

In-air wifi? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! yeah, never works. (On US carriers)



I admire the optimism. That said, never underestimate the airline industry’s ability to weasel out of obeying regulation.

In Canada, we also have requirements for compensation for delayed and cancelled flights. Some airlines, such as Air Canada, are pretty good about compensation. Others, such as WestJet, force every compensation request to the regulator. As a result, I have open-and-shut claims that are now years old sitting in a queue for government review.

Oh, and there are loopholes! Flight cancelled because the airline forgot that the crew can only work so many hours in a row? That’s compensable, if you can prove it. Flight cancelled for nebulous or dubious “safety concerns” result in nothing from the airline at all. I had a short hop flight cancelled due to “weather concerns” on a clear day. It turns out they needed the aircraft elsewhere to clear up a traveller backlog due to inclement weather two days prior. Technically, that’s conpensable. Get in line with the regulator and maybe if the airline still exists in three years they’ll compensate you.


On the most recent flight I took, the wifi wasn’t available, and the reasoning they gave was “as we are constantly striving to give you the best, this is a new plane and the wifi has not yet been installed”, meaning no wifi AND I got to worry about being in a newly constructed boeing plane


Pittsburgh GIF by Mike Hitt


In France there was an airline called Hop! (with the exclamation point) for awhile, and my first thought when I read the headline was, “Big deal, how many people even fly Yippee! Airlines…?”


My favorite: Airplane pulled because of a mechanical issue? This was beyond our control and not eligible for compensation (even though the maintenance issue that caused it should have been dealt with months prior).


These days, I mainly fly as part of something tightly orchestrated; I can usually handle being delayed by a few hours, but woe unto you if you can’t get me to my destination without knockon problems. Nothing like having a delay make you miss a car or hotel reservation, with the cascading aftereffects. We will not discuss having your reservation significantly “altered because of operational needs. Whatcha gonna do about it?” Sure, they will offer to let you rebook, but when their next available flight means you will miss a significant event…


I’ll wait until we actually see the regulations. I see the airlines going: Flights canceled. Here’s your refund. Oh, how do you get home? You’ll have to rebook your Flight from scratch, at the current fare and current availability. Where’s your luggage? No clue but since we’ve refunded your baggage fee we are absolved of responsibility of it.


And airlines wonder why more and more people are trying to travel using carryon only. Unless I’m going to be staying at my destination long enough for a mislaid bag to reasonably catch up, it’s a backpack all the way for me. Not to mention $40 and up for the first checked bag.

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I had a flight from Chicago delayed because of a mechanical failure. They had to fly in a part from Tennessee, but it was snowing in Memphis so they couldn’t fly in the replacement part. So officially my flight was cancelled due to the weather. It was clear in Chicago.


And SCOTUS will knock it down because it hurts the airlines’ feelings or something.

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