Scattered Clouds 35° Good Evening
Scattered Clouds 35° Good Evening

Tips on handling airline delays due to computer outages

Trip insurance can help if you get stranded

Trip insurance can help if you get stranded at the airport. Photo Credit: Alamy / James Boardman

The airlines have experienced many computer outages over the last few years, stranding thousands of passengers. Here are ways to protect yourself in case you encounter one.

  • Passengers can ask for a refund, even on a “nonrefundable” airfare, if a flight is canceled or “severely” delayed (two hours).
  • If you have travel insurance, see if your policy covers electrical outages or computer system shutdowns. Most common: coverage for trip delays if you need meals or a hotel room, and costs associated with getting to your destination.
  • Some credit cards offer trip-delay protection (typically up to $500 for meals, hotels, etc.) for “equipment failure”; whether this means aircraft or computer equipment is open to interpretation. You must charge your trip with the credit card.
  • If you’re stuck on the runway, U.S. Department of Transportation regulations state that you can request to be deplaned if the delay stretches past three hours on a domestic flight or four hours on an international trip.

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