The last time I flew home to Montana, I ended up missing my connecting flight by ten minutes. I was put up in a hotel in Salt Lake for the night—but it still ended up being almost a day later before I was able to make it back to Kalispell. I’m not much of a complainer, but the process was so frustrating and beyond a simple, delayed flight, that I ended up talking to Delta about the issue. Knowing when to step in and complain might not always be apparent, especially if you are usually an easy-going person. Here are some times when you might want to think about submitting a complaint.
When a delay greatly ruins your plans.
If you’ve scheduled a flight at a specific time for a reason (i.e. because you have work the next day or there is an emergency back home), it’s often worth it to contact the airline through the website. A serious delay can sometimes have serious consequences—so if you have had a delay that has caused you emotional stress, then you might want to talk to someone from the airline.
When a delay costs you money.
I’ve known of some people who have had to rent a car when flying into another airport because their flight was delayed. While the airline probably won’t compensate you on the spot, they will likely reimburse you later. Keep any receipts of any extraneous expenses that might come up because of the delay and keep a record of what you spent.
When the delay is most definitely their fault.
The reason I ended up missing my flight was because the pilots of the aircraft did not arrive on time for departure. While you might not be able to complain about a busy airport or most mechanical problems, you can if it is related to the staff or the quality of service. For more information, you will want to look up the terms on the website of the airline you took—they tend to have different conditions.
While there is no guarantee that you will be able to get some benefit from your time delayed, most airlines are at least willing to hear you out. After contacting Delta, I was given 35,000 miles for my account—a more than fair compensation for my time and the cause of the delay.
Have you ever received any benefits from filing a complaint with an airline?