Flights Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked Were you on a flight that was delayed, canceled, or overbooked?

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Old Jan 7, 2012, 9:41 PM
sab sab is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1
Default How long after a weather incident can a flight be reasonably cancelled?

Family of five was flying from Dallas to Houston to Cancun on 12/29/11. When we attempted to check in at Dallas, we were told by Continental that the flight was cancelled due to weather in Houston. There was some fog in Houston in the early AM but our flight was not scheduled to land in Houston until 11:54 AM, long after the fog had cleared up. I heard from another passenger that day that Southwest had some delays but no flights were cancelled. How long after a weather incident can a flight be reasonably cancelled?

Continental booked us on another flight later that day (which was delayed several hours) but could not get us to Cancun until the following day. So we had to stay overnight in Houston. Some of the frustrations I had with Continental were:

No compensation offered for cancelled flight.

No voucher for hotel in Houston. We asked but they said no. While checking into the hotel, we ran into other passengers on the same flight that received vouchers for 50% off the room rate.

No food vouchers while sitting in the airport for 8 hours.

We were told that because the Cancun flight left the next morning, we had to recheck our bags. We picked up all of our bags except one. We went to the Continental lost baggage area and the worker insisted that the last bag was sent straight to Cancun. We explained that we already picked up four bags but he told us we could look all night but our last bag was sent to Cancun. While we were waiting an hour for our hotel shuttle, we went back and the last bag had arrived. If we had listened to the Continental baggage worker, we would have left the bag in Houston.

On the way home, they lost another bag that still hasn't shown up.

All thorough this process, the Continental employees were as unhelpful as can be. They didn't appear to know what was going on and had a "tough beans" attitude about everything.

I don't fly an awful lot but am wonding if we have a legitimate gripe or is that just the way it goes.
Old Jan 8, 2012, 1:28 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

Sadly your experience of US based airlines is typical. The weather excuse has become an impossible defence to they will claim that aircraft where out of place due to weather, etc.... You can try and complain to the DOT to see if the weather excuse can be challenged, but it is unlikely. There is a link in quick links to make the complaint and it is easy to do.

On hotels, the capricious nature of the way passengers are treated by airline employees, sometimes in identical circumstances is highly typical. You are unlikely to get any joy from them, even though others were treated more favourably. In general, US based airlines are to be avoided, particularly for international travel.

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