Hotel rooms

Major US airlines will provide free meals, hotel accommodations for delays of three hours or more and cancellations

Many major airlines in the United States have pledged to provide meals for customers who have to wait three hours or more for delayed flights, as well as hotel rooms for customers who are stranded, while the delays are due. to problems within the control of the airlines.

American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, JetBlue and Southwest updated their customer service policies this week, which state that passengers can receive meal and hotel vouchers if a flight is canceled or delayed.

The updates come ahead of a busy Labor Day travel weekend and follow Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s request in August that airlines provide meals and hotels to customers on extended timelines.

United Airlines’ recently updated policy states that the airline will provide meal vouchers for flights delayed more than three hours. Previously, free meal vouchers applied to passengers whose flights were delayed by four hours or more.

“When a delay or cancellation within our control, such as a mechanical problem, takes you away from your home town and you need to stay overnight, we will give you digital or printed hotel vouchers that can be used at a hotel partner,” the airline said, adding that if vouchers are not available for its partner hotels, customers who are able to find and pay for an alternate place to stay can submit their receipt to the team. airline customer service and will be reimbursed up to $200.

“We will provide a higher reimbursement amount if you demonstrate that a reasonable cost for a hotel is greater than $200 for that location,” he added.

Passengers board an American Airlines flight in New York on May 3, 2020. (Eleonore Sens/AFP via Getty Images)

Guests will receive complimentary hotel accommodation

Meal vouchers are also offered by American Airlines for delays of three hours or more, while vouchers for approved hotels will also be issued if customers are delayed overnight due to the airline.

Southwest Airlines says meal vouchers will be provided “upon request at the airport for participating vendors inside the airport” for flights delayed three hours or more, as well as in cases where cancellations initiated by the airline mean a wait of three hours or more.

“If participating vendors and/or vouchers are unavailable, we will honor reasonable requests for reimbursement for meals purchased during these irregular operations,” the policy reads. “In addition, we can provide free snacks and drinks to customers.”

The airline will also arrange hotel accommodation on request, “if available”, if cancellations result in a delay or overnight stay. Alternatively, the airline “will honor reasonable requests for reimbursement for accommodation”, provided the customer does not live locally.

Delta Air Lines will also provide a meal or meal voucher if a cancellation or delay results in a wait of three hours or more beyond the scheduled departure time.

The airline will also provide free hotel accommodations at Delta-contracted facilities for away-from-home customers who are “involuntarily removed from a flight and we are unable to accommodate you on another flight on the same day of travel”.

In cases where hotel accommodation is not available, the airline will “compensate you with a transportation credit whose value is proportional to the contracted hotel rate up to $100”. Customers who book their own accommodations when Delta-contracted hotel accommodations are not available will be reimbursed reasonable room charges and round-trip hotel transportation.

“Controllable Cancellations”

JetBlue says it will provide $12.00 meal vouchers, including taxes and fees, in cases where a “controllable cancellation” results in passengers waiting three hours or more for a new flight.

“In the event meal vouchers are not available or otherwise accepted at an airport, or food or drink is not otherwise available at an airport (e.g. concessions are closed), JetBlue will do its best to best to provide an appropriate meal/beverage to the customer (e.g. order food and provide water for the delayed flight) or otherwise reimburse the customer, subject to valid receipts, for meal-related expenses not exceeding the authorized limit of JetBlue Meal Vouchers,” the policy states.

The airline will also provide a free hotel room at a hotel in the local airport area for any passenger affected by a “controllable” overnight cancellation. If such accommodation is not available, JetBlue will reimburse the customer for “reasonable and appropriate expenses associated with hotel accommodation for the night”, provided the customer can show the receipt.

As of August 31, there were 539 delays inside, inside or outside the United States, and 66 cancellations inside, inside or outside the country, according to the FlightAware real-time flight tracking data.

Katabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on U.S., global, and business news.