Delta Air Lines, hobbled by a two-day service meltdown, has been offering passengers delayed three hours or more travel vouchers, flight change fee waivers and hotel rooms when available.
But passengers whose trips are disrupted by delayed or canceled flights should know all their options.
According to Delta’s 51-page conditions of carriage, the airline will give passengers a full refund, in the original form of payment, in the event their flight is canceled or diverted or delayed more than 90 minutes.
“In the event of flight cancellation, diversion, delays of greater than 90 minutes,” the conditions say, “Delta will (at passenger’s request) cancel the remaining ticket and refund the unused portion of the ticket and unused ancillary fees in the original form of payment.”
90 Minutes of delay, after which Delta passengers can request a refund
The conditions of carriage further state that the refund will apply to the unused portion of the ticket, or if no portion of the ticket has been used, “the refund will be an amount equal to the fare paid.”
If you accept a travel voucher instead of a refund, you may be entitled to more.
If hotel accommodations are not available for passengers delayed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., the airline will provide a travel voucher of up to $100.
Even if a computer outage hadn’t affected Delta’s entire operation, passengers would still be entitled to the forms of compensation spelled out in the conditions of carriage.
“They have a number of options,” said Ashton Morrow, a Delta spokeswoman.
$100 Travel credit Delta passengers can request if hotel rooms aren’t available
Morrow said the conditions of carriage are posted on Delta’s website and are incorporated into every ticket the airlines sells.
Delta passengers who booked their tickets through a third-party vendor, such as Travelocity or Expedia, can work directly with Delta to receive vouchers or refunds. However, those passengers will have to go through the third-party vendors to change flights, and change fees could apply in those instances.
2,100 Number of flights Delta had canceled this week, as of Wednesday afternoon
A computer failure early Monday caused the airline to cancel 1,000 flights Monday and 800 Tuesday. By early Wednesday afternoon, the airline had canceled almost 300 more, but anticipated resuming normal operations by day’s end.
“We’re focused on getting the operation on track,” Morrow said.
Delta extended its offer of compensation to affected passengers to noon Wednesday and gave them until Aug. 21 to rebook flights without paying a change fee. Earlier in the week, Delta customers had only until Friday to do so.
The airline said it had provided thousands of hotel vouchers to stranded passengers, including more than 2,300 Tuesday in its Atlanta hub.
Delta couldn’t immediately provide numbers on refunds or travel vouchers issued.
2,300 Passengers offered hotel rooms at Delta’s Atlanta hub Tuesday night
In an update Wednesday morning, Delta said it had resolved the problems with technology that enables passenger check-ins and boarding and aircraft dispatching. But it was still affected by displaced flight crews and crews that were bumping up against their maximum allowable time on duty.
“We’re in the final hours of bouncing back from the disruption,” said Bill Lentsch, Delta’s senior vice president of airport customer service and airline operations, in a statement. “We know this has been a rough couple of days for our customers and apologize to those who have experienced our less-than-stellar operation.”
We’re in the final hours of bouncing back from the disruption.
Bill Lentsch, Delta senior vice president of airport customer service and airline operations
While Delta made further accommodations to inconvenienced passengers as the week progressed, Charlie Leocha, chairman and co-founder of Travelers United, a passenger advocacy group, said the airline still could do more to make its customers whole.
They need to pay for the problem, not the consumer.
Charlie Leocha, chairman and co-founder, Travelers United passengers advocacy group
Leocha said Delta should let passengers rebook their travel at no extra cost for up to a year as compensation for lost vacation time, missed weddings or other inconveniences.
Leocha said the problem was of Delta’s own making, not a natural act like a snowstorm.
“They need to pay for the problem, not the consumer,” he said.