• Wed. Oct 5th, 2022

What are the services of RDU airline if flights are delayed or cancelled?

ByKimberly A. Brochu

Sep 3, 2022

This summer has seen near-record travel volumes, with airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration both facing staff shortages that have left many passengers stranded at airports due to delayed or canceled flights.

To help frustrated travelers, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) launched a new dashboard which shows passengers the accommodations and amenities that airlines have committed to provide in the event of flight delays or cancellations for “controllable” reasons.

Airlines are already required to make certain accommodations available – such as offering refunds for canceled flights – depending on the circumstances of the flight. But some airlines may offer additional accommodations, which are described in the dashboard.

When planning your next trip, it can be useful to check the dashboard to see which airline will offer you the best accommodations in the event of a delay or cancellation.

To help you better understand the impacts of the dash locally, we’ve broken down the accommodations offered by the airlines operating at Raleigh-Durham International Airport – and determined which airlines are the most and least accommodating.

Here’s what you need to know.

Which airlines are included on U.S. DOT Customer Service Dashboard?

The airline customer service dashboard includes 10 major national airlines.

Together, the airlines and their “regional operating partners” account for “approximately 96% of scheduled domestic air passenger traffic”, says the Dashboard website.

The airlines included in the dashboard are:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Air Allegiant
  • American airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • Border airlines
  • Hawaiian airlines
  • JetBlue
  • South West Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • United Airlines

All airlines except Hawaiian Airlines have a presence at RDU.

RAL_112320_RDU_TEL_22.JPG
Raleigh-Durham International Airport in March 2022 File photo

Accommodations listed on the US DOT Customer Service Dashboard

The DOT dashboard lists several accommodations that airlines have pledged to provide to passengers whose flights are delayed or canceled for “controllable” reasons or “circumstances within the control of the airline.”

“A controllable flight cancellation or delay is essentially a delay or cancellation caused by the airline,” the dashboard website says. “Examples include: maintenance or crew issues; cabin cleaning; baggage loading; and refueling.

For canceled flightsthe passenger accommodation options that airlines could undertake to provide are as follows:

  • New reservation a passenger on a new flight with the same airline no additional cost.
  • New reservation a passenger on a new flight with another airline no additional cost.

  • Provide a meal, meal money or meal voucher when a flight cancellation causes a passenger to wait for a new flight for three hours or more.

  • Give away for free Hotel accommodation for any passenger undergoing a overnight flight cancellation.

  • Give away for free Land transportation to and from a hotel for any passenger undergoing a overnight flight cancellation.

For delayed flightsthe passenger accommodation options that airlines could undertake to provide are as follows:

  • New reservation a passenger on a new flight with the same airline at no additional cost when there is significant delays to the original flight.
  • New reservation a passenger on a new flight with another airline at no additional cost when there is significant delays to the original flight.

  • Provide a meal, meal money or meal voucher when a flight delay causes a passenger to wait three hours or more.

  • Give away for free Hotel accommodation for any passenger undergoing a overnight flight delay.

  • Give away for free Land transportation to and from a hotel for any passenger undergoing a night flight delay.

Some airlines on the dashboard offer all accommodations, some offer some accommodations, and some airlines offer no accommodations.

“Airlines are required to deliver on the promises they make in their customer service plan, including commitments to take care of customers in the event of controllable delays or cancellations,” the DOT website states.

The most accommodating airlines to RDU if the flight is delayed or canceled

We rate RDU airlines as “most accommodating” if they offer everything accommodations and amenities listed on the dashboard.

The RDU airlines offering all these accommodations are:

  • American airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • United Airlines

Somewhat accommodating airlines in RDU

Other airlines to offer RDU some accommodations and amenities listed on the dashboard, but not all.

Alaska Airlines and South West Airlines have pledged to provide all but one of the units.

These airlines will not be book passengers on a flight with another airline free of charge if the original flight is canceled or delayed.

Spirit Airlines does not undertake to offer two of the five possible accommodations.

This airline will not change passengers on a flight with another airline free of charge if the original flight is canceled or delayed.

The airline will not provide complimentary ground transportation to and from a hotel for passengers experiencing flight delays overnight.

The airline has committed to providing the other three accommodations on the dashboard: booking flights with the same airline, providing meals or meal vouchers, and providing free hotel accommodation .

Border airlines does not undertake to offer three of the possible accommodations.

This airline will not change passengers on a flight with another airline free of charge if the original flight is canceled or delayed.

The airline will not provide free hotel accommodation for passengers experiencing flight delays overnight.

The airline will not provide complimentary ground transportation to and from a hotel for passengers experiencing flight delays overnight.

The airline has committed to providing the other two accommodations on the dashboard: re-booking flights with the same airline and providing meals or meal vouchers.

To note: Even if an airline isn’t listed on the dashboard as offering a certain accommodation, the airline can still choose to do so “in some cases at its discretion,” the dashboard’s website says.

Least accommodating airline in RDU

An airline in RDU offers nothing Accommodations listed on the DOT Dashboard, whether for flight delays or cancellations: Allegiant Airlines.

To note: Although Allegiant has not committed to providing the additional accommodations and amenities listed on the Dashboard, you are still entitled to a refund if the airline cancels or significantly delays your flight.

You can find out more about your right to a refund at transport.gov/individuals/aviation-consumer-protection/refunds.

Additional Resources

Want to explore DOT’s Airline Customer Service Dashboard yourself? It is available online at transport.gov/airconsumer/airline-customer-service-dashboard.

The Dashboard site also contains direct links to additional customer service information provided by each of the airlines included in the Dashboard.

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Korie Dean is a reporter with The News & Observer’s service journalism team. She is a graduate of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at UNC-Chapel Hill and a lifelong North Carolina.