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7 On your side: Canceled flight? Top tips for getting a new booking or refund

NEW YORK (WABC) — Skies weren’t so friendly for travelers last weekend, with nearly 6,000 flights canceled largely due to weather conditions.

But left behind in the wake were angry passengers and tough questions.

7 On Your Side’s Nina Pineda got some insider tips on how to get a new appointment, rebook, or refund.

“It was just ridiculous,” Amanda Oscasio said.

A dream birthday trip to Cancun turned into a nightmare for Amanda and Catalino Ocasio.

“Atrocious,” he said, referring to JetBlue.

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The airline recently canceled hundreds of flights and the couple had been trying to get to Newark from Mexico since April 2.

“We had been stuck since Saturday,” Catalino said. “We walked through the door at midnight last night,” Amanda said.

They were accommodated in three different hotels for three nights.

JetBlue and other airlines have blamed inclement weather and air traffic control delays on the travel mess. Scott Keyes, with Scott’s Cheap Flights indicates that you are entitled to get your money back for canceled domestic flights.

“When an airline cancels or significantly changes your flight, you are entitled to a full cash refund if you wish, Keyes said. “You don’t need to have insurance as long as you’re traveling to or from a US airport.”

If you are canceled internationally, check if your credit card reimburses you.

“Take any credit card you use and go ahead and Google your credit card and travel protection very quickly,” Keyes said. “See what kind of protections you get automatically.”
His advice if you are at the airport and your flight is delayed or canceled, queue up and call simultaneously.

“As I walk to that line, I call the airline,” Keyes said. “And knowing that look, if I’m a 30-year-old, I can actually reach a phone agent faster.”

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An inside tip is to avoid calling the main airline number and instead find an international office number.

“The reason for this is that the international office often has very short queues,” Keyes said. “Because very few people think of calling the American Airlines office in London, their office in Canada.”

Next, be proactive: research alternative flights, even on another airline, and request that flight specifically.

“A lot of times if you proactively come with the flight you want to be on, they’ll be able to accommodate you,” Keyes said.

The Ocasios were issued $300 each, a total of $600 in JetBlue credits. They are still trying to get their incidentals reimbursed.

Another tip is that if you are running late, keep all receipts. This will give you a better chance of being reimbursed.

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