Travel | September 1, 2022 12:28 pm

Delayed or Canceled Flight? DOT’s New Tool Shows What You’re Entitled To.

The Airline Customer Service Dashboard defines what compensation you can get from specific carriers

Passengers waiting in an airport terminal to board their outgoing commercial airplane flight.
The Department of Transportation now offers an online resource for inconvenienced passengers.
Christian Petersen-Clausen/Getty

Which airline will help you the most if your flight is delayed or canceled? What are your rights if you get bumped off of a flight? When are you entitled to a refund or, at the very least, a meal voucher?

These common traveler inquiries (well, frustrations) finally have official answers, thanks to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s brand new Aviation Consumer Protection Dashboard. This resource, launched this week, was created “to ensure the traveling public has easy access to information about services that U.S. airlines provide to mitigate passenger inconveniences when the cause of a cancellation or delay was due to circumstances within the airline’s control,” according to the new site.

This launch follows a push last month by ­­Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to improve travel protections for passengers and get airlines to outline their policies in a transparent manner; as The Points Guy notes, the government pressure seems to have worked, as a senior administration official recently commented that since the dashboard’s creation was announced, nine out of 10 airlines will now guarantee rebooking at no cost (before the announcement, it was one out of 10). As well, airlines have now jointly agreed to provide meal vouchers for delays of three hours or more and lodging accommodations for passengers stuck overnight (for delays within the carrier’s control).

Airline cancellation commitments via the DOT's new customer service dashboard
Airline cancellation commitments via the DOT’s new customer service dashboard.
U.S. Department of Transportation

The best part of the new dashboard? Having one central spot to find each airline’s commitment to travelers after “controllable cancellations” and delays (Allegiant, not looking so good). But it’s also great to know exactly how much of a tarmac delay you’ll have to deal with before the plane needs to return to the terminal (3-4 hours), domestic bag liability limits ($3,800) and ticket refund time (7-20 days, depending on circumstance).