Airplane Sihouette Over $100 Bills
Photographs and composite image ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Compensation Due to Passengers in Debacles of Both United Airlines and Delta Air Lines — But…

P assengers who have suffered through the recent debacles of both United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are expected to receive compensation — but in the case of Delta Air Lines, who receives a refund depends on the circumstances.

Compensation Due to Passengers in Debacles of Both United Airlines and Delta Air Lines — But…

Passengers of United Airlines flight 3411 on Sunday, April 9, 2017 from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago to Louisville International Airport — from which the incident of a passenger being involuntarily dragged off the airplane occurred — will receive a refund, according to this article written by Ben Mutzabaugh of USA TODAY.

Oscar Munoz — who is the chief executive officer of United Airlines — finally issued a statement which included an apology and that United Airlines takes full responsibility for an incident this past Sunday where one passenger reportedly was very upset at being one of four passengers to be selected to leave the aircraft involuntarily.

The passenger — a male doctor who is 69 years old and needed to be at a hospital the next day — was forcibly removed from the aircraft by members of law enforcement, which resulted in injury to the passenger. All three three law enforcement officers in question who were involved in the passenger being physically pulled from his seat were relieved of their duties for now.

Not Everyone Will Receive Compensation From Delta Air Lines

The compensation to passengers affected by the delays and cancellations of flights due chiefly to severe inclement weather in Atlanta is not as clear cut and straightforward: “I just received a phone call from Delta CS regarding the issues on April 5th”, according to this comment posted by FlyerTalk member Youngmiler. “They are giving me 20,000 skymiles and they should arrive no later than May 1st. Very surprised how quickly they got back to me and with a personal call, not just an auto email.”

Although Youngmiler claims that “They said all medallions will be receiving 20,000 skymiles and that is why it is going to take so long to post. Perfect timing to correlate with the increase in award ticket pricing on partners”, Adam at Point Me to the Plane wrote in this article that “you may be entitled to 20,000 SkyMiles or a $200 travel voucher. Only those passengers who experienced a 3 hour or greater delay and/or a complete cancelation on 2 or more flights qualify. This credit will be proactive and communication should come directly from Delta” between Monday, April 3, 2017 and Sunday, April 9, 2017 — including travel which was scheduled during that period of time.

Adam goes on to say that if a customer was a passenger on a flight which was:

  • Cancelled and he or she opted not to travel and take the refund does not qualify for the refund
  • Either canceled or delayed and he or she was rebooked on another flight which was delayed for fewer than three hours does not qualify for the refund
  • Either canceled or delayed and he or she was rebooked on another flight which was also canceled or delayed for greater than three hours does qualify for the refund


That the airlines in question are compensating their inconvenienced passengers is a good thing — I am not including the passenger who was forcibly removed by law enforcement officers, as I expect that specific compensation to be increased significantly and as a result of negotiations — but is it enough?

In this comment posted in the aforementioned discussion launched by Youngmiler, some FlyerTalk members do not believe that 20,000 SkyMiles are enough to compensate for the inconveniences of being delayed for hours — or having to wait for hours at a time until finally being able to speak to a customer service representative via the telephone.

Is it possible that airlines — which at one time were losing substantial amounts of money and would have done just about anything to please customers in order to keep them — are still adjusting to a post-consolidation era of airplanes filled near or at capacity with passengers where adjustments when things go wrong are significantly more difficult than they were ten years ago…

…or are there other factors to consider with the stories about which we have read recently?

Photographs and composite image ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

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