“Duty of care” from the airline – how far it goes
Like all public and private services, airlines have their duty of care policies that may differ depending on the official regulations that are in place in their countries and territories where you are traveling.
Duty of care may range from keeping you informed about schedule changes, delays and cancelations to automatic re-bookings in case one of these factors affects their transport routes.
You should always check the duty of care policy of the airline you are flying with to ensure that you will benefit from compensation in case something goes wrong with your scheduled trip.
How to have a bulletproof flying schedule
You may always count on the airline’s obligation to ensure consumer satisfaction and safety, but only up to a certain point. At the end of the day, you are nothing more than a number in their books. You are one of the millions of passengers that choose their business throughout the year. It is up to you to make sure that your flying schedule will go as planned.
To reduce the chances of unpleasant episodes when flying, you should build a bulletproof flying schedule with these simple tips:
- Check the on-time performance (OTP) of the companies and flights that you are considering
- Book your tickets with maximum attention to avoid misspells or misunderstandings
- Check the company’s duty of care and compensation policies
- Make sure that all the information in the confirmation email is correct
- Re-check the flight schedule several times, especially within 48 hours left before departure
These measures will put you in a position where you are in control of your itinerary. Otherwise, you will be at the airline’s freedom to reschedule or re-book your flight according to their duty of care policy.
How to deal with a delayed or canceled flight
This fact surprises many people, but airlines do not offer any guarantees for their flying schedules. There are so many factors that can disrupt the departing and arriving times of their flights that they do not ensure you will be leaving or landing when they say you will.
An airline may delay your flight if severe weather conditions, security risks or air traffic congestion among other causes prevent its departure. At this point, you should try to find out the length of the delay. Depending on the amount of time that you spend waiting to depart you are entitled to a form of compensation.
During long delays or cancelations, the airline is legally obligated to offer you food and refreshments, hotel accommodation and transfer to your lodging. However, you will have to ask for these rights since most of the times, the companies will try to buy their time and hope that they can continue with their schedules without further expenses.
You may even claim compensation for your trouble with the help of a professional company that will fight for your passenger rights. They may even do it commission-free if your case turns out to be unsuccessful.