How To Never Be Stranded After A Canceled Flight | Private Wealth (2023)

Jen Rubio is co-founder and chief brand officer of Away. After stints working for Warby Parker and London-based All Saints, she launched Away in February 2016, focusing on hard-shell suitcases with lifetime guarantees. Their candy-colored silhouettes became staples at airports around the world at warp speed. At a recent Series D funding round, Away was valued at $1.4 billion.

The company now produces a range of bags and accessories, including recently introduced carry-on suitcases with built-in front pockets for items like laptops, giving travelers easy access to them.

Rubio lives between New York and San Francisco, averaging about 200,000 miles a year—at least—in the air. Once a Delta Air Lines loyalist, reaching its Million Miler status, she now uses a variety of carriers. “American Airlines first class is hands-down the best transcon, with great seats and really good food,” she says.

She doesn’t rely on melatonin or Ambien to beat jet lag—this gizmo is much more effective.

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I never travel without a small, USB-powered white noise machine from Aurola, whether it’s to drown out a hotel neighbor’s snores through paper-thin walls, or to add some sound texture to the deafening silence of a country retreat. I discovered it when we were first starting Away and I was traveling to China. I was booked in an Airbnb in Hong Kong on a very busy street. I live in Manhattan, so I’m fine with noise, but I could distinctly hear someone’s conversation outside, and I couldn’t stop eavesdropping. But that Airbnb had a white noise machine on the nightstand. I clicked “play” and slept so well that I went online and bought one the next day. It’s become my trigger for sleeping. There’s a Pavlovian quality to it: No matter where in the world I am or what kind of room I’m in, the machine turns on, and my brain instantly relaxes.

Duty-free shopping can save serious cash—if you know what you’re doing.

I’m the queen of duty-free. People think airport shopping is completely accidental, but you can strategize it to save a lot of money. If you’re looking at a pair of Gucci loafers, the difference between buying them in New York and at Gucci at London Heathrow can be $200 to $300. It’s as much as 35% off—insane! They’re not something you need urgently, so you can always wait.

I use the Heathrow personal shopping program. You book it ahead of time, and tell them what stores you want to go to and how much time you have. Then the personal shopper meets you after security and takes you from terminal to terminal to get the stuff you need. I like it for Christmas shopping. I only found out about it because I noticed a bunch of Chinese tourists at Heathrow Terminal 3 with someone in an airport uniform. I went up to them and asked them what was going on, and they told me about it.

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And this is how you really maximize those duty-free savings.

If you know you’re flying through an airport like Heathrow more than once, get a business card from any of the associates at high-end boutiques like Gucci or Chanel. Those airport boutiques have a limited selection because they don’t have a ton of space, but they can order things from any other boutique to be transferred there and hold it for you. Call or email them, then they will hold it for you and you can buy it—duty-free—the next time you fly from there. I did it when I was going back and forth between London and New York a lot.

Download this one app, and you’ll never be caught off guard by flight delays again.

Flighty is expensive for an app, like $50 per year, but somehow it knows when I’m going to get delayed before they make any announcements. If I board a flight, I might get a notification from Flighty it’s going to be 15 minutes delayed—and then five minutes later, the pilot will say the same thing.

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How never to be stranded after a canceled flight.

Remember the Three-Hour Rule: If you’re stuck on the tarmac for three hours, they have to go back to the gate and let everyone off. It will take 30 to 45 minutes to get everyone off, then maybe they’ll let you back on or they might cancel it if the crew times out. There’s uproar when that happens, but if you’re three steps ahead of everyone else, it makes everything much more decent. If you think a flight is going to be canceled, call the airline and ask them to protect you on a seat on a later flight, too. I’ve done that, where I was basically on both flights until one of them got canceled. Or you can go online while you’re sitting in your seat and book a ticket on the next flight as a backup. If your first flight is canceled, you can ask for a refund. And if you don’t need the second seat, you can cancel that for free because you booked it within 24 hours.

Global Entry has counterparts across the world.

For places you travel to often, check to see if there’s an expedited entry program. Doing that has cut down my time in the immigration line by 90% sometimes. Hong Kong has a program where if you visit more than a certain number of times a year, you can sign up for the Frequent Visitor e-Channel. They actually have automated kiosks for immigration when you arrive and when you depart. They approve you for it, you get a sticker in your passport, and you bypass basically all of the manual checkpoints on arrival and departure.

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The best in-flight amenity kit is the one you make yourself.

I’ve become very particular as I travel more. On every business-class flight, there’s an amenity kit, but I wish the products were better. So now I pack my own, full of a bunch of stuff I’ll need in-flight. It means I don’t spend the whole flight getting up, rummaging through my bags, and disturbing everyone. I pack silicone earplugs from Savears. I learned about them when I was sitting next to someone who was a sound technician. He was wearing the same earplugs on the plane that he used backstage at concerts. He said they were perfect, and now I use them for everything. I also pack rinse-free hand wash from Byredo instead of Purell hand sanitizer; it smells really good and is less drying. And I put on Barbara Sturm antipollution serum before flights. Air travel is not great for your skin, so if you can keep it clean and moisturized, you’re good to go.

She loves this tiny Canadian surf town so much that she just bought a house there.

British Columbia is known for Whistler, but I love Tofino, a tiny surf town on the westernmost coast of Vancouver Island. It’s where my fiance [Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield] proposed to me. It’s hard to get to, but that’s kinda why I like it. Anyone who bothers making the effort to go, they’ll really appreciate it. You fly to Vancouver, and then there’s a scheduled floatplane service [to] Tofino Harbor. Once they started offering that, I bought a house there. The population is probably a couple thousand year-round. The climate is temperate rainforest, so it’s within the same 10 degrees always. There’s a beach, mountains, and it’s become a place for surfers, too. There’s also an amazing farm-to-table, or sea-to-table, foodie culture. I love Wolf in the Fog.

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Make friends wherever you go by doing this every time you check into a hotel.

When I land somewhere, I go to the ATM and get money out. Then when I get to the hotel, at check-in I ask them to change around $40 into small bills. When you’re traveling, the ability to tip everyone you encounter when it’s called for, even in nontipping countries, goes such a long way.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.


What are you entitled to when an airline cancels your flight? ›

In the following situations, consumers are entitled to a refund of the ticket price and/or associated fees. Cancelled Flight – A consumer is entitled to a refund if the airline cancelled a flight, regardless of the reason, and the consumer chooses not to travel.

Do airlines pay for hotel if flight is Cancelled? ›

No. Airlines are not required to reimburse you for any trip costs affected by the cancelled flight, such as a prepaid hotel room, a cruise, a vacation, concert or other tickets, or lost wages.

Will an airline book you on another airline? ›

Yes. Airlines aren't required to put you on another airline's flight, but they can, and sometimes do, according to the DOT.

Can a Cancelled flight be reinstated? ›

Your passenger rights if the airline cancels a flight or if the flight is delayed then cancelled include the option between: full refund and return flight back home, or. alternative flight to the final destination.

Will American airlines put you in a hotel? ›

In cases where a delay or cancellation is caused by us, we'll give you: A voucher for an approved hotel with available rooms if you are delayed overnight.

How do I get my money back from a travel agency? ›

It's usually best to ask for a refund instead - you should contact the company you booked with and ask. They should give you a refund if they cancelled your travel. If you're thinking of accepting a voucher, check the terms and conditions, including: when the voucher expires.

How do I ask for hotel compensation? ›

How to Get Fair Compensation from an Airline or Hotel
  1. The Best Way to Have Your Complaint Heard and Addressed by a Hotel or Airline. ...
  2. Pinpoint the Issue. ...
  3. Offer a Potential Solution. ...
  4. Make Your Complaint Specific and Concise. ...
  5. Don't Immediately Ask for a Supervisor or Manager.
Mar 9, 2023

How much does your flight have to be delayed to get compensation? ›

Delayed flights: you may be able to claim compensation if your flight arrived 3 hours or more late. Canceled flights: you may be eligible for compensation if your flight was canceled less than 14 days before it was due to depart.

Why are so many flights being cancelled? ›

Ongoing staffing issues and aircraft shortages stemming from the pandemic have become another cause of flight delays in the U.S. This has felt particularly hard among pilots. Even though fewer flights are operating now than in 2019, some airlines are still grappling with staffing and aircraft cuts.

How much can an airline offer if they over book? ›

Overbooked flight compensation under US regulations

If the airline does not make any substitute travel arrangements for you, you are entitled to 400% of the one-way fare price, not to exceed $1,350 as well as any optional fees paid as part of your reservation (e.g. bag fees, seat upgrades, etc.).

Do airlines rebook you if they cancel your flight? ›

Rebooking and refunds. The airline must always ensure that you complete your itinerary as soon as possible. In all situations, the airline has to rebook you on another flight if your original flight is delayed for 3 hours or more or is cancelled.

Is it smart to book separate flights? ›

Perhaps the number one reason why people book their own connections is to save money. If you can save hundreds of dollars by flying from another airport and can find a cheap flight to that said airport – why not? A great way to do this is to book with low-cost airlines and local airlines.

What happens if one leg of your flight is Cancelled? ›

If one leg of a flight is canceled or passengers bailout, then the whole package can be voided at the carrier's discretion. This applies to multi-leg flights across the USA, as well as international flights involving American companies.

How long before a flight can it be Cancelled? ›

The catch: You have to cancel within 24 hours of booking. Airlines are required by the U.S. Department of Transportation to refund your money if you cancel a flight within 24 hours of booking unless they offer a free 24-hour hold option when shopping for tickets.

Do all airlines have to refund Cancelled flights? ›

Currently, refunds are required by law when the airline cancels the flight itself, for any reason, whether in the airline's control or not. Even when the airline cancels, we're still seeing some carriers offer vouchers as the default option, without letting customers know they have the right to a full cash refund.

How much will American Airlines pay for a hotel? ›

American Airlines Will Open $250 Million 600-Room Hotel For Its Staff Next Year.

Do airline pilots get free hotels? ›

The airline handles and pays for accommodations for crewmembers when they are on a trip. Many pilots do not live where they are based and choose to commute. Generally, if pilots need to travel and stay away from home when they are not on a trip, they are responsible for their own accommodations.

Do flight attendants live in hotels? ›

In their base cities, flight attendants tend to live in apartments we call "crash pads." It's basically an apartment with a few beds in each bedroom where you can leave your work things and sleep between trips when you don't have time to commute home.

Do travel agents get paid if a trip is Cancelled? ›

Depending on the policy of the travel supplier involved, a travel agency may still receive its commission even if the client cancels--that is, the client receives whatever refund is due, and the travel agency still gets its commission.

What if travel agent is not refunding my money? ›

Filing a Complaint against a Travel Agency

Either the agency refuses to cooperate or they shut out your refund demand. Here, you are required to file a consumer complaint in the Consumer Court.

How do you know if a travel agent is scamming you? ›

IATA-accredited agencies have a unique code, which is the best way to verify their legitimacy. Agencies will provide their IATA code if asked. And you can verify whether they are valid through this code checking tool.

Can you call a hotel and negotiate? ›

Though it's best to phone ahead, you can negotiate on arrival. If you walk in without a reservation and are unhappy with the rate you are quoted, tell the desk clerk and ask if there is a lower rate or offer a rate that you are willing to pay. Always wait until the desk is not busy.

How much is too much for a hotel room? ›

Generally speaking, it's best to plan to spend no more than 25-30% of your monthly income on a hotel room. If you're looking for something luxurious or have special needs, then that percentage may be higher.

How do I ask an airline for compensation? ›

The first thing you should do when filing a claim for compensation for a delayed, canceled, or overbooked flight is to contact your airline. You can do this by calling them, writing to them, or asking a gate agent for the best method to file a complaint.

What is the 2 hour rule for flight delay compensation? ›

If a flight has a block time of two-and-a-half hours, customers are entitled to refreshments if the delay is for two hours. In case of flights that have a block time of between two-and-a-half hours and five hours, the delay has to be three hours for the passenger to be eligible for refreshments.

How to get compensation for cancelled flight American Airlines? ›

Instead, request your refund from American Airlines right on its website. American Airlines has a dedicated refunds page where you can submit your refund request. You'll need the passenger's last name and ticket number to get started.

Which US airport has the most Cancelled flights? ›

Summary: Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) has the highest cancellation rate in the country for 2022: 5.55% - up from 1.43% in 2021.

Which airline has the least cancellations? ›

The most reliable airline of 2022

That makes Hawaiian Airlines our most reliable airline for 2022 in a landslide. Delta takes second place overall with a No. 2 finish in half of the performance metrics. Alaska finishes in third place due to a strong on-time percentage and low cancellation rate.

Why were thousands of flights canceled? ›

Thousands of flights were delayed or canceled due to critical computer system failure A critical computer system of the Federal Aviation Administration failed, leading to the delays or cancellations of thousands of flights. The antiquated system is now functioning but questions remain.

Can you call an airline to negotiate price? ›

You can use travel agents, the true champions of negotiations, to fetch the best deals for you. You can even try bargaining directly with the airline's representative on the toll-free number. Be patient and polite, and ask them about the possibilities of getting the flight at a lower fare.

How do you not get bumped on an overbooked flight? ›

One is to check in early. Once you check in, you'll probably get a seat assignment, and the chances of getting bumped decrease. Don't wait to board! If you're not in your seat, the airline may assume you won't show up and give your seat to another passenger.

Do airlines give cash for overbooking? ›

But when they're desperate enough, they will.” For overbooked U.S. flights that result in you getting to your destination more than two hours later, U.S. Department of Transportation rules stipulate that the minimum compensation rate is $1,550, or 400% of your one-way fare, whichever amount is lower.

Is it legal to cancel a flight? ›

All airlines allow you to cancel a flight and many let you get a refund in some capacity.

What is hidden city ticketing? ›

Hidden city ticketing is when you buy a ticket with the intention of leaving the plane at a stopover, rather than the final destination. These types of journeys have the potential to save you a lot of money in comparison to a non-stop flight.

Is it cheaper to buy roundtrip or one-way? ›

Round-trip tickets are usually cheaper than one-ways, sometimes significantly so. NerdWallet compared fares across multiple international routes and found that, typically, buying two one-way tickets costs 20% more than a single roundtrip.

What is the cheapest day to fly? ›

Average domestic airfare price by day
  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly domestically.
  • Saturday and Monday flights can help you avoid the Sunday rush.
  • Wednesdays and Thursdays are the cheapest day to fly internationally.
  • Book one to three months in advance.
  • Set a price alert.
Apr 21, 2023

Should I be worried about my flight being Cancelled? ›

What to Do If Your Flight Has Been Canceled. If your flight is canceled, don't panic — your airline will likely automatically rebook you on the next available flight. However there's a chance that might not happen or if it does, the new flight may not work with your schedule.

Who is responsible if flight is Cancelled? ›

Claim compensation for a cancelled flight

You're legally entitled to get compensation if the cancellation is the airline's responsibility and both the following apply: the replacement flight delays your arrival by 2 or more hours. your flight was cancelled less than 14 days before departure.

Can an airline cancel a flight last minute? ›

Can airlines cancel flights last-minute? They can, and they do that. Sometimes it happens because they mess up something, other times -- it's caused by something that isn't under their control. It's not something you can change, last-minute cancellations are happening and will happen.

What happens if flight is Cancelled more than 14 days? ›

If you were notified of the cancellation more than 14 days in advance, mostly you won't get compensation from the airline. Unless your travel insurance covers it. Read your travel insurance policy and contact your insurer.

What happens if the airline cancels my flight? ›

If the airline cancels your flight or it's "significantly delayed" (a term currently defined on a case-by-case basis) and you're forced to change your travel plans, the Department of Transportation requires airlines to provide a full refund.

Can you sue an airline for not refunding your money? ›

If, however, the airline refuses to provide you with a refund or travel voucher, you may have a viable claim in court. You will need to show that the airline violated a refund policy under its contract of carriage.

Can you get a flight refund for medical reasons? ›

Is Cancel For Medical Reasons different to Trip Cancellation? Cancel For Medical Reasons is a benefit that is included within most Trip Cancellation policies. This means that travelers can be reimbursed up to 100% of their trip costs if they cancel for a reason covered by this benefit, such as an illness or injury.

What is the law of eu261? ›

EU Reg 261 requires airlines to compensate passengers when flight delays or cancellations result in passengers reaching their final destination more than three hours later than originally scheduled. Passengers are only entitled to claim compensation if the delay or cancellation was within the airline's control.

Will Southwest pay for hotel? ›

You are also entitled to receive care including free food, refreshments, and, during lengthier delays, a hotel room, as well as free transfers to and from the airport. However, not all Southwest Airlines flight delays are eligible for compensation.

How long do you have to claim compensation for a cancelled flight? ›

Compensation. If you received less than 14 days' notice of the cancellation, you may be able to claim compensation too. This depends on what caused the cancellation – if it wasn't the airline's fault, don't expect to receive any compensation.

Can you sue airline for cancellation? ›

Generally, yes you can sue an airline in small claims court. The U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”), which is a federal agency that regulates airlines operating in the U.S, even publishes a Consumer's Guide to Small Claims Court.

Who is eligible for flight claim? ›

1. Your flight must have been cancelled or delayed by over 3 hours. 2. You must have taken the flight within the last 6 years.

What counts as extraordinary circumstances for flight delays? ›

The main categories of events that are likely to be an extraordinary circumstance include: Weather conditions incompatible with the safe operation of the flight. Strikes (unrelated to the airline such as airport staff, ground handlers, air traffic control or border force) Acts of terrorism or sabotage.

Does EU261 apply to USA? ›

U.S.-based passengers can file a EU261 claim under eligible conditions when flying with an EU carrier when departing an EU country, when on a non-EU airline or on a connecting U.S. flight originating in Europe.

Am I entitled to EU261 compensation? ›

You are entitled to compensation in the following cases: Delays: Your flight must have arrived at its destination 3 or more than 3 hours late. Cancellations: If you have been informed of cancellation less than 14 days before departure.

How do I get compensated from Southwest? ›

If you incurred additional expenses, such as a hotel stay, food, a rental car, or any other reasonable extra costs, you'll need to submit your receipts to Southwest by email. Here's how: Visit the Southwest Email Us page. Click "Expense Reimbursement Request," and then click "Next."

How to get a hotel and pay later? ›

With Expedia's Book Now Pay Later you don't pay for your rooms until you arrive at the property. Rooms booked in advance are guaranteed for your stay but are only paid for once you check in. If anything comes up to keep you from your vacation, you won't be charged for missing or modifying your reservations.

Can airlines cancel flights last minute? ›

Can airlines cancel flights last-minute? They can, and they do that. Sometimes it happens because they mess up something, other times -- it's caused by something that isn't under their control. It's not something you can change, last-minute cancellations are happening and will happen.

Did the US fine airlines more than $7 million for not providing refunds? ›

U.S. fines airlines $7.5 million and they must refund customers for canceled flights. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced Monday that the department is assessing fines totaling $7.5 million against six airlines, ordering them to pay refunds to hundreds of thousands of customers.


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