If your flight has been canceled and you are stranded at the airport or if your flight is delayed and is going to cause you to miss a connecting flight, Rule 240 can come in very handy. Basically, the rule guarantees passengers certain rights that the airline is obligated to abide by. This rule is for U.S. airlines and does not apply to airlines outside of the U.S. (the European equivalent is called EU Regulation 261/2004) A few things to note before booking a flight with an airline when looking for the rule:
- This rule is not a federal requirement which means that not all airlines are required to have one.
- To find this rule, check the policy of the airline with which you are flying and obtain a copy to keep with you while you travel just in case.
If your airline does have a Rule 240, the following are examples of conditions that would constitute a flight delay or cancellation by fault of the airline:
- If the pilot or other crew members are late to the aircraft
- Late arrival of the aircraft
- Mechanical problems
This rule does not guarantee that you get an automatic refund for your flight. It can, however get you some of the following:
- A spot on the airline’s next flight or a flight on another airline
- The option not to travel and to obtain a refund
- Meal vouchers
- Ground transportation
- Phone calls
- Hotel accommodations