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Montana travel experts offer tips to get compensated for canceled flights

Posted at 8:46 AM, Jan 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-03 10:46:40-05

BILLINGS — The Billings-Logan International Airport was an empty husk on day two of 2024 when compared to typical holiday hustle, with many airline passengers saying they experienced no delays this year or last.

Some customers said this lack of problems came as a surprise after a year of unprecedented hectic travel during the 2022 holidays, the majority of which was caused by technical issues on behalf of Southwest Airlines.

“I do kind of remember there were tons of cancellations around this time (in 2022),” said Jonathan Cox, a traveler at the Billings airport.

Travel experts said the most recent conditions for holiday travel are a major improvement from 2022, though the conditions are not entirely without problems.

“The airlines are still struggling with pilot shortages. They’re reassigning aircrafts here and there based on needs," said Billie Ruff, the president and CEO of Travel Cafe, a Billings-based travel agency.

Resources are available to assist travelers with seeking compensation from airlines related to canceled and delayed flights including the following:

These resources often involve long and arduous processes and are not guaranteed to garner the desired result. Often, alternative methods of reaching out may be shorter and more simple.
“The best way to get a response from a customer service issue is to post something on social media," said Ruff.

When considering booking a flight in the future, to avoid extended travel delays and cancellations, experts advise that passengers book arrangements during the early hours of the day.

“I also recommend not ever taking the last flight of the day. If you’re canceled, you’re not gonna get on a flight that same day and you’re paying for a hotel or sleeping in an airport," said Ruff.