Your rights as an airline traveler


Traveling is tough enough.

And it can be a nightmare if your flight is delayed, cancelled or overbooked.

But you have rights, a few of them.

"But being informed will help you get the compensation you're due, if you stand up for yourself," said Layren Lyons Cole, Consumer Reports.

When it comes to cancellations, each airline handles things differently.

Delta, for example, will either put you on its next available flight or rebook you on another carrier.

Southwest on the other hand, only re-books passengers on the next available Southwest flight.

Get bumped, however -- and you do have recourse.

"Overbooking isn't illegal, but if you're bumped involuntarily, in most cases the airline has to rebook you in a timely manner -- or pay you," said Lyons Cole.

They might even have to do both.

On domestic flights, if the airline rebooks you to land 1 to 2 hours later than your original arrival time, the airline has to cover your ticket and pay you double your one-way airfare -- up to $675.

If the delay is more than 2 hours, or the airline doesn't make any alternative arrangements for you -- you are due four times your one-way airfare up to $1350.

One more good piece of information to remember.

If an airline tries to give you a travel voucher, demand the cash. You're entitled to it by law.

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