Travel insurance carriers will often post useful travel information and stories in blogs, newsletters or on their website. A recent post on Travel Insurance Services‘ blog addresses what responsibility the airlines have in the event of a delay and possible recourse for the travelers. The following is an excerpt from the post.
Airlines are only obligated to honor promises made in their contract of carriage. The contract usually states the airline is not responsible for additional expenses that passengers incur due to a canceled flight if the cancellation was not the airline’s fault.
So, when is a cancellation the airlines fault? You guessed it – hardly ever.
A few examples of when it’s not their fault are: bad weather, acts of God, terrorist activities, war, strikes, any shortage of labor, fuel or facilities, and “any event not reasonably foreseen, anticipated or predicted” by the airline. Some contracts even say that “mechanical difficulties” are out of the airline’s control.
Travel industry experts still advise passengers to ask airlines for accommodations if they’re stranded due to a canceled flight, but more often than not, travelers are left to their own devices.
The best plan is to get travel insurance from a reputable company. With the USI Affinity’s Travel Insurance Select Plus or Elite option, travelers can contact the Worldwide Assistance Center and a certified travel agent can help make emergency travel changes, such as re-booking flights.
Source of this article: http://blog.travelinsure.com/2010/07/years-ago-when-passengers-were-stranded-in-an-airport-due-to-a-canceled-flight-the-airline-would-foot-the-bill-for-food-and.html