Don't Fly Without A Copy Of Rule 240

If it’s the airline’s fault that your flight is delayed or canceled or you missed your connection, whip out a copy of their Rule 240.

Rule 240 refers to the “conditions of carriage” which specify the circumstances in which you’re entitled to airline compensation.

You can get meal vouchers, a hotel room, be booked on a substitute flight, or be given a full or partial refund. MY Travel Rights says to first familiarize yourself with Rule 240:

Many airline ticket agents do not know these policies, so you should be the expert.

Be polite but very firm about your rights under Rule 240. You’ll win most battles at ticket counters when you say the phrase “Rule 240″ and show the agent your printed copy of the airline’s policies. However, don’t hesitate to keep going up the chain to supervisors if you’re not satisfied.

Note that these rules are precluded by weather, war or other events outside the airline’s control. But they’re all good for things like scheduling snafus, mechanical failure, and general incompetence.

Before your next flight, print out a copy of the airline’s Rule 240. We’ve got them posted inside for many major American airlines.

(Photo: ten1602)


Quick jump to an airline:

America West
American Airlines
Continental
Delta
Frontier Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines
Northwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines
United Airlines
US Airways


America West

A SCHEDULE IRREGULARITY is any of the following that occurs on the date of departure:

Delay in scheduled departure or arrival of an America West flight resulting in misconnection,

Flight cancellation

Omission of a scheduled stop

4 hour or more delay or interruption in the scheduled operation of an America West flight

The substitution of equipment

Schedule changes which require rerouting of a passenger at departure time because notice had not been given prior to the passenger’s arrival for check-in on the original flight.

LIABILITY: Except to the extent provided in the rule, America West shall not be liable for failing to operate any flight according to schedule or for changing the schedule or type of equipment used on any flight with or without notice to the passenger.

DELAY, MISCONNECTION, or CANCELLATION: To the extent possible, America West will provide onward transportation to passengers delayed or misconnected due to schedule irregularities or cancellations of flights or service, at no additional cost to the passenger. If the delay is caused by America West, America West will transport the passenger without stopover on the next available flight in the same or higher class service, at no additional cost to the passenger. If America West is unable to provide onward transportation acceptable to the passenger, America West, with concurrence of the passenger, will arrange for transportation on another carrier or combination of carriers with whom America West has agreements for such transportation. The passenger will be transported without stopover in its (their) next flight(s), in the same or higher class of service at no additional cost to the passenger. If space is only available and used on an American West flight(s) in a lower class service acceptable to the passenger, America West will provide a refund of the difference. If the delay or misconnection is caused by an airline other than America West, America West in combination with the other carrier will transport the passenger on the next available flight, in the same class of service, at no additional cost to the passenger. If America West is unable to arrange alternate air transportation acceptable to the passenger, America West shall refund the unused flight coupon(s).


American Airlines

SCHEDULE IRREGULARITY

American Airlines defines a schedule irregularity as:

A delay in the departure or arrival of an American Airlines flight that results in a misconnection, or

A flight cancellation or omission of a scheduled stop, or any other delay or interruption of an American Airlines flight, or

A substitution of equipment to a different class of service, or

A schedule change that requires you to be rerouted.

If your flight is delayed, cancelled or you miss a connecting American Airlines flight, due to a schedule irregularity

1.American Airlines must confirm you on their next flight (on which space is available) at no additional cost.

2.If there is an alternate American Airlines flight that will arrive at your destination earlier than the alternate you have been offered, you have the right to be confirmed on this American Airlines flight at no additional cost, even if first class space is all that is available.

3.If the alternate American Airlines flight is not acceptable to you, you have the right to be confirmed on the flight of a different airline at no additional cost.

4.If there is an alternate “different airline” flight that will arrive at your destination earlier than any alternate flight you have been offered, you have the right to be confirmed on this flight at no additional cost, even if first class space is all that is available.
5.If no alternate flight (on American Airlines or a “different airline”) is acceptable to you, American Airlines must refund your money – even if you have a non-refundable ticket.

Note: Instead of offering refunds, airline agents often times will tell the passenger to keep their ticket and when they are ready to travel again, the airline will rewrite the ticket and waive any change fees. While it may sound generous, I recommend you reject any such offers. A year is a long time and a lot can happen. Why have an airline ticket that you could lose or possibly not use? I prefer to get a full refund and when I fly again, I will buy another ticket.

If your American Airlines flight delay, cancellation or misconnection is not due to a Schedule Irregularity, it is due to a Force Majeure Event.

FORCE MAJEURE EVENT

American Airlines defines a Force Majeure event as:

Any conditions beyond American Airlines’ control, including weather, acts of God, riots, civil commotion, wars, hostilities, strikes, labor-related disputes, government regulation, shortage of labor or fuel, or other facts not foreseen by American Airlines.

If your flight is delayed, cancelled, or you miss a connection to an American Airlines flight due to a Force Majeure Event (and this includes weather), American Airlines’ only obligation is to refund your ticket.

AMENITIES

American Airlines for hotel accommodations only when you are on an American Airlines flight that is diverted to an unscheduled point and the delay at this point is expected to exceed 4 hours, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m..

Hotel accommodations will not be furnished if this delay is at your home city, or in some cases where the airline is landing at a nearby airport or city. Rule 240 states that American Airlines may provide amenities as they feel are necessary to maintain the safety and welfare of certain passengers such as invalids, senior citizens, unaccompanied minors, etc.


Continental

SCHEDULE IRREGULARITY Any of the following irregularities: Delay in scheduled departure or arrival of a carrier’s flight resulting in a misconnection, or Flight cancellation, omission of a scheduled stop, or any other delay or interruption in the scheduled operation of a carrier’s flight, or Substitution of equipment of a different class of service, or Schedule changes which require rerouting of the passenger at departure time of the original flight.

When a passenger will be delayed because of a schedule irregularity caused by Continental Airlines. Continental Airlines will use its best efforts to arrange onward transportation over its own lines in the same class of service at no additional cost to the passenger. If space is available on Continental Airlines flight(s) in a different class of service acceptable to the passenger, such flight(s) will be used at no additional cost to the passenger only if the flight(s) provide an earlier arrival at the passenger’s destination. At the passenger’s request, provided that the tariff covering the original transportation permits routing via the carrier which will transport the passenger, Continental Airlines will accommodate the customer on the same class of service on the next available flight on another carrier, or combinations of carriers, if the length of the delay to the passenger’s destination exceeds 2 hours.

AMENITIES / SERVICE FOR DELAYED PASSENGERS Lodging: The passenger will be provided one night’s lodging, or a maximum allowance for one night’s lodging as established by each location, when a Continental Airlines flight on which the passenger is being transported is diverted to an unscheduled point and the delay at such point is expected to exceed 4 hours during the period 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Exception: Hotel accommodations will not be furnished: To a passenger whose trip is interrupted at a city which is his/her permanent domicile or, When such interruption is due to local or destination weather conditions or air traffic control delays. When the destination designated ;and the flight on which the passenger is on the passenger’s ticket is…

being transported……………… is diverted to:

Baltimore……………….Washington Dulles Airport

Baltimore……………….Washington National Airport

Burbank…………………Los Angeles / Ontario

Chicago O’Hare………..Chicago Midway

Colorado Springs…………Denver

Ft. Lauderdale…………….Miami

Houston Hobby………..Houston Intercontinental

Los Angeles……………Ontario / Burbank

Oakland…………………San Francisco / San Jose

Newark………………….New York LGA or JFK

New York……………….Newark New York

JFK……………………..New York LGA

San Francisco………….San Jose / Oakland

San Jose………………..San Francisco / Oakland

Washington Dulles…….Washington National

Washington National…..Baltimore / Washington Dulles

Meals: Passengers will be provided one meal, per passenger, if the delay caused by Continental Airlines to the passenger under this rule will extend beyond normal meal hours. When lodging is furnished in accordance with above, passengers may be provided up to two meals. Ground Transportation: When lodging is furnished in accordance with above and ground transportation is not furnished by the hotel, Continental Airlines will provide ground transportation via public conveyance. Communication: Continental Airlines will provide one 3-minute long distance telephone call when the delay caused by Continental under this rule is expected to exceed two hours. Continental Airlines will provide such amenities as are necessary to maintain the safety and/or welfare of certain passengers such as qualified handicapped individuals, unaccompanied children, or the elderly .


Delta

Rule 240 applies to All Delta Air Lines flight delays, cancellations or misconnections are as a result of a

1.Schedule Irregularity, or 2.A Force Majeure Event.

SCHEDULE IRREGULARITY

Delta Air Lines defines a schedule irregularity as:

A delay in the departure or arrival of a Delta Air Lines flight that results in a misconnection, or A flight cancellation or omission of a scheduled stop, or any other delay or interruption of a Delta Air Lines flight, or A substitution of equipment to a different class of service, or A schedule change that requires you to be rerouted.

If your flight is delayed, cancelled or you miss a connecting Delta Air Lines flight, due to a schedule irregularity &

1.Delta Air Lines must confirm you on their next flight (on which space is available) at no additional cost. 2.If there is an alternate Delta Air flight that will arrive at your destination earlier than the alternate you have been offered, you have the right to be confirmed on this Delta Air Lines’ flight at no additional cost, even if first class space is all that is available. 3.If the alternate Delta Air Lines flight is not acceptable to you, you have the right to be confirmed on the flight of a different airline at no additional cost. 4.If there is an alternate “different airline” flight that will arrive at your destination earlier than any alternate flight you have been offered, you have the right to be confirmed on this flight at no additional cost, even if first class space is all that is available. 5.If no alternate flight (on Delta Air Lines or a “different airline”) is acceptable to you, Delta Air Lines must refund your money – even if you have a non-refundable ticket.

FORCE MAJEURE EVENT

Delta Air Lines defines a force majeure event as:

Any conditions beyond Delta Air Lines’ control, including weather, acts of God, civil commotion, wars, hostilities, strikes, labor-related disputes, government regulation, shortage of labor or fuel, or other facts not foreseen by Delta Air Lines.

If your flight is delayed, cancelled, or you miss a connection to a Delta Air Lines flight due to a Force Majeure Event (and this includes weather), Delta Air Lines’ only obligation is to refund your ticket. Delta Air Lines will probably try to reroute you to an alternate flight, but according to Rule 240, they are not required to do this.

AMENITIES

First Class Passengers: If you have been delayed 2 hours or more due to a flight delay or cancellation, Delta Air Lines will provide you with one 3-minute phone call within the Continental U.S. If the delay exceeds 4 hours, Delta Air Lines will provide you with meals at the appropriate times (not to exceed 24 hours). If the delay is expected to exceed 4 hours between the hours of 10:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m., Delta Air Lines will provide hotel accommodations and transportation between the airport and hotel (some exceptions).

Business Class and Coach Passengers: If you have been delayed 2 hours or more due to a flight delay or cancellation, Delta Air Lines will provide you with one 3-minute phone call within the Continental U.S. If the delay is expected to exceed 4 hours between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., Delta Airlines will provide hotel accommodations and transportation between the airport and hotel (some exceptions).

If you are delayed because of a misconnection from a Delta Air Lines flight to a Delta Air Lines flight, and the delay is expected to exceed 4 hours between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., Delta Air Lines will provide hotel accommodations provided alternate transportation is not available and you missed the last flight of the day. You are required to standby for all Delta Air Lines flights through the last flight of the day.

The amenities listed above do not apply, if your delay is due to weather conditions unless you are a connecting passenger or if you are deplaned at a point other than your origin, destination and/or stopover point.

Delta Air Lines may provide amenities as they feel are necessary to maintain the safety and welfare of certain passengers such as invalids, senior citizens, unaccompanied minors, etc..


Frontier Airlines

A. General

The provisions of this rule apply to the passenger who has a ticket or conjunctive tickets and a confirmed reservation on a flight, which he/she does not use for one of the reasons named below

B. Definitions For the purpose of this rule, the following terms have the meaning indicated below:

1. Stop over – a deliberate interruption in excess of four hours of the passenger’s journey, as agreed to in advance by Frontier and the passenger, at a point between the place of departure and the place of destination,

2. Connecting Point – a point to which a passenger holds or held confirmed space on a Frontier flight and out of which the passenger holds or held confirmed space on a Frontier or other carrier’s flight. All airports through which a city is served by any carrier shall be deemed to a single connecting point when the receiving carrier has confirmed reservations to the delivering carrier

3. Misconnection – occurs at a connecting point when a passenger holding confirmed space is unable to use such confirmed space because the delivering carrier was unable to deliver him/her to the connecting point in time to connect with the receiving carrier’s flight NOTE: The same rules regarding delivering and receiving carrier responsibility apply at the subsequent points of misconnection as would apply to the point of original misconnection,

4. Outbound flight – the flight on which the passenger originally held Confirmed space beyond the point where the scheduled irregularity or failure to carry occurs,

5. Schedule Irregularity -any of the following irregularities occurring on date of departure a Delay in scheduled departure or arrival of a Frontier flight resulting In misconnection, or

b. fight cancellation, omission of a scheduled stop, or a hour or mare delay/interruption In the schedule operation of a Frontier fight, or

c. substitution of equipment or a different class of service, or

d schedule changes, which require rerouting of a passenger at departure time because prior notice of such schedule change had not been given such passenger prior to the passenger’s arriving at the airport for check-In on the original fight

C. Schedule Irregularity

When a passenger will be delayed because of a schedule irregularity (or a carrier cancels the passenger s reservation according to Rule 135 section l)

Liability

Except to the extent provided In this rule, Frontier shall not be liable for failure to operate any fight according to schedule or for changing the schedule or type of equipment used on any fight, with or without notice to the passenger.

Delay, Misconnection or Cancellation

To the extent possible, Frontier will provide onward transportation to passengers delayed or misconnected due to schedule Irregularities or cancellation of fights or service If the delay or misconnection is caused by Frontier, Frontier will transport the passenger without stopover on Its next available fight in the same or higher class of service, at no additional cost to the passenger If Frontier is unable to provide onward transportation, Frontier will arrange for the transportation on another carrier or combination of carriers with whom Frontier has agreements for such transportation. The passenger will be transported on its (their) next available fight(s), in the same or higher class of service at no additional cost to the passenger. Frontier In combination with any other carrier will transport the passenger on the next available flight. In the same class of service, at no additional cost to the passenger.

b. If Frontier Is unable to arrange alternate air transportation acceptable to the passenger, Frontier shall refund the unused flight coupon(s) in accordance with Rule 260.

c. Frontier shall have no obligation to accept another carrier’s ticket, which does not reflect a confirmed reservation on Frontier, unless the Issuing carrier reissued the ticket for any changes In routing. In the event such carrier is not able to do so; Frontier reserves the right to reroute passengers only over its own lines between the points named on the original ticket.

D. Schedule Change When a passenger will be delayed because of a change In Frontier’s schedule, Frontier will arrange to: 1. Transport the passenger over its own lines to the destination, next stopover point or transfer point shown on Its portion of the ticket, without stopover and at no additional cost to the passenger.

2. When Frontier’s schedule change results in the cancellation of all Frontier service between two cities, Frontier will reroute passengers holding confirmed ticketed reservation between such cities, over the lines of another carrier or combination of carriers with whom Frontier has agreements for such transportation, at no additional cost to the passenger.

3. Refund in accordance with Rule 260.

E. Amenities/Service for Delayed Passengers 1. Lodging Passengers will be provided one night’s lodging, or a maximum amount for one night’s lodging as established by each location, when a Frontier flight on which the passenger is being transported is: a. diverted to an unscheduled point, the delay at which is expected to exceed 4 hours,

b. due to the passenger’s flight arriving late, he/she missed the connecting flight and alternate transportation is not available until after 6:00 a.m. the next day.

2. EXCEPTIONS: Hotel accommodations will not be furnished:

a. to a passenger whose trip Is Interrupted at a city which is his/her origin point, destination point, stopover point, or permanent domicile, or

b. hotel accommodations will not be furnished to a passenger whose trip is interrupted at any point when such Interruption Is due to local or destination weather conditions or any traffic control delays.

3. Ground Transportation

Any ground transportation provided will be via public conveyance.

When the delay is In excess of four hours a meal voucher may be provided.

4. Communications

When the delay Is In excess of 4 hours, one 3-minute long distance telephone call may be made on one of the Frontier phone lines, and one message via the carrier’s internal communications system may be sent.

5. Extraordinary Circumstances

Frontier will provide such amenities as It deems reasonably necessary to maintain the safety and/or welfare of certain passengers such as those physically challenged, unaccompanied children, the elderly or others to whom such amenities will be furnished consistent with special needs or circumstances.

6. Carriers in Default

Frontier will not accept for any purpose under this rule passenger tickets or related transportation documents issued by any carrier which is in substantial default of its interline obligations or which voluntarily or Involuntarily has become the subject of bankruptcy proceedings (the defaulting carrier). EXCEPTION: Tickets issued by the defaulting carrier or its sales agent prior to the default, will be accepted solely for transportation over the lines of Frontier, provided such tickets were issued by such defaulting carrier In its capacity as agent for Frontier and specified transportation via Frontier. When tickets are accepted, no adjustments in fare will be made which would require Frontier to refund money to the passenger. 7. Strike/Work Stoppage In the event of a strike, which causes any cancellation or suspension of operation on any other carrier, the provisions of this rule will not apply with respect to passengers holding tickets for transportation on that carrier.


Hawaiian Airlines

FLIGHT DELAYS/CANCELLATIONS (CONFIRMED PASSENGERS)

A) GENERAL

The provisions of this rule apply to a passenger who has a ticket and a confirmed reservation on a flight which he/she does not use for one of the reasons named below.

HA will make every attempt to notify passengers of any flight delays, cancellations or diversions as soon as any decision to make such a change is confirmed. On the day of departure, in either the airport or onboard the aircraft, HA employees will update passengers at minimum every twenty (20) minutes on the status of the flight.

B) DEFINITIONS

For the purpose of this rule, the following terms have the meaning indicated below:

1) Comparable air transportation means transportation provided by air carriers or foreign air carriers holding certificates of public convenience and necessity, or foreign permits.

2) Connecting point means a point to which a passenger holds or held confirmed space on a flight of one carrier and out of which the passenger holds or held confirmed space on a flight of the same or another carrier. All airports through which a city is served by any carrier will be deemed to be a single connecting point when the receiving carrier has confirmed reservations to the delivering carrier.

3) Delivering carrier means a carrier on whose flight a passenger holds or held confirmed space to a connecting point.

4) Misconnection occurs at a connecting point when a passenger holding confirmed space on an original receiving carrier is unable to use such confirmed space because the delivering carrier was unable to deliver him/her to the connecting point in time to connect with the receiving carrier’s flight.

NOTE: The same rules regarding delivering and receiving carrier responsibility apply at the subsequent point(s) of misconnection as would apply at the point of original misconnection.

5) New receiving carrier(s) means a carrier or combination of connecting carriers, other than the original receiving carrier(s), operating between the point of misconnnection and the destination or next point of stopover or connecting point shown on the passenger’s ticket, on whose flight a passenger is transported from the connecting point.

6) Original receiving carrier(s) means a carrier or combination of connecting carriers on whose flight(s) a passenger originally held or holds confirmed space from a connecting point to a destination, next stopover or connecting point.

7) Outbound flight means the flight on which a passenger originally held confirmed space beyond the point where the schedule irregularity or failure to carry occurs.

8) Schedule irregularity means any of the following irregularities:

i) Delay in scheduled departure or arrival of a carrier’s flight resulting in a misconnection, or

ii) Flight cancellation, omission of a scheduled stop, or any other delay or interruption in the scheduled operation of a carrier’s flight, or

iii) Substitution of equipment of a different class of service, or

iv) Schedule changes which require rerouting of passenger at departure time of the original flight.

C) SCHEDULE IRREGULARITY

When a passenger will be delayed because of a schedule irregularity or a carrier cancels the passenger’s reservation according to Rule 135 (Cancellation of Reservations).

1) Any carrier causing such delay or in the case of a misconnection, the original receiving carrier(s) will transport the passenger without stopover on its (their) next flight on which space is available in the same class of service as the passenger’s original outbound flight at no additional cost to the passenger. If space is available on a flight(s) of a different class of service acceptable to the passenger, such flight(s) will be used without stopover at no additional cost to the passenger, only if it (they) will provide an earlier arrival at the passenger’s destination, next stopover point, or transfer point.

2) If the carrier causing such delay, or in the case of misconnection the original receiving carrier(s) is unable to provide onward transportation acceptable to the passenger, any other carrier or combination of connecting carriers, at the request of the passenger will transport the passenger without stopover on its (their) next flight(s) in the same class of service as the passenger’s original outbound flight; or if space is available on a flight(s) of a different class of service acceptable to the passenger, such flight(s) will be used without stopover at no additional cost to the passenger, only if it (they) will provide an earlier arrival at the passenger’s destination, next stopover point or transfer point, or

3) The carrier causing the schedule irregularity will provide a refund in accordance with Rule 260 (Involuntary Refunds) if applicable.

D) AMENITIES/SERVICES FOR DELAYED PASSENGERS

The carrier will assume the expenses outlined below for all passengers incurred as a result of cancellation, delay or interruption of any flight on which a passenger holds confirmed reservations. Passengers will be informed of the available amenities when a delay is expected to exceed 4 hours.

1) Hotel Rooms – HA will provide one-night’s lodging at accommodation selected by HA when a passenger’s delay is expected to exceed 4 hours and extend into the period 10:00 pm through 6:00 am, and no scheduled alternate transportation is available to the passenger’s destination or stopover point. HA will not provide lodging for passengers who reside in the city where the interruption occurs.

2) Meals – Passengers will be furnished one meal voucher if the delay will extend beyond the four (4) hours. No alcoholic beverages will be furnished to any passengers.

3) Local Ground Transportation will be provided to the downtown area or from/to local hotel whichever is applicable.

4) Communications – One long distance telephone call will be allowed between any two points in the State of Hawaii.

5) In lieu of the above, and subject to passenger’s approval, HA will compensate the passenger with credit valid for the purchase of transportation. The credit will be valid for travel only on HA within 365 days of the date of issue and will apply only to online transportation via HA, may not be endorsed to or accepted by any other carrier and is not refundable to, saleable by, transferable by or assignable by the passenger.

EXCEPTION 1: The provisions above do not apply to passengers holding confirmed reservations, on a flight which is delayed or cancelled because of U.S. weather bureau observations or forecasts indicating that environmental conditions will be such that at the time or arrival or departure of the flight either the airport may be closed, or that weather conditions will be less than minimum allowed for landing or takeoff as required by the Federal Aviation Administration. If an attempt is made to conduct the flight, all passengers will be informed that an attempt will be made.

NOTE: The above exception does not apply and amenities will be provided to:

1) A passenger who is deplaned at a point other than his/her destination or point of origin.

2) A passenger whose onward transportation on the carrier is delayed or cancelled at a connecting point intermediate to his/her destination.

3) A passenger who in the carrier’s best judgment requires such amenities and services because of special circumstances, i.e., unaccompanied children, elderly persons, invalids or incapacitated and/or ill passengers, and qualified individuals with a disability, in order to maintain the safety, health and welfare of such passengers.

EXCEPTION 2: When an HA flight is delayed or cancelled because U.S. Weather Bureau observations or forecasts indicating that environmental conditions at the airport of destination will be such that, at the time of arrival of the flight, either the airport may be closed, or that weather conditions will be less than minimum allowed for landing as required by the Federal Aviation Administration, passengers originating travel on such a flight will be given that information before departure of the flight. After all passengers have been informed that 1) indications are the flight will be unable to land at their destination or stopover point and 2) that if the flight does not land, HA will not provide amenities of any kind, those passengers who nevertheless elect to travel may be boarded. Passengers who hold confirmed reservations and who have come to the airport to board that flight to that point but elect not to travel after being so informed, will be provided ground transportation from the airport, back to their residence/hotel, but no other amenities will be provided. Passengers making direct connections from another HA flight or any other carrier will be provided full amenities, whether they elect to remain at the connecting point or whether they elect to travel and are landed at a point other than their final destination or stopover point.

EXCEPTION 3: The services and amenities described above will not be provided for flight interruption, cancellation or delay caused by acts of God, riots, civil commotions, government embargoes or regulations, wars, hostilities, disturbances, adverse weather conditions, labor disputes, air traffic congestion, airport closure or interline misconnection due to delay of other carriers.

E) LIABILITY OF CARRIER Except to the extent provided in this rule, no carrier will be liable for failing to operate any flight according to schedule or for changing the schedule of any flight, with or without notice to the passenger.

F) Notwithstanding the provisions of this rule, the carrier will not accept for any purposes under this rule, passenger tickets or related transportation documents issued by any carrier which is in substantial default of its interline obligations or whose aviation certificate has been revoked or suspended by the Federal Aviation Association.

EXCEPTION: Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, tickets issued by the defaulting carrier will be accepted solely for transportation over the lines of another carrier provided such tickets were issued by such defaulting carrier in its capacity as agent for the other carrier and specified transportation via that carrier. When tickets are accepted, no adjustments in fare will be made which would require the other carrier to refund money to the passenger.

G) The carrier will not be responsible for any consequential damages or incidental costs incurred by the passengers such as, but not limited to, loss of wages/income/salaries.


Northwest Airlines

SCHEDULE IRREGULARITY Schedule Irregularity means any of the following irregularities: Delay in scheduled departure or arrival of a Northwest Airlines flight resulting in a misconnection, or Flight cancellation, omission of a schedule stop, or any other delay or interruption in the schedule operation of a Northwest Airlines flight, or Substitution of equipment of a different class of service, or Schedule changes which require rerouting of the passenger at departure time because prior notice of such schedule change had not been given such passenger prior to the passenger’s arriving at the airport for check-in on the original flight.

Exception: Schedule Irregularity does not include Force Majeure Events defined as Any conditions beyond Northwest Airlines’ control, including weather, acts of God, civil commotion, wars, hostilities, strikes, labor-related disputes, government regulation, shortage of labor or fuel, or other facts not foreseen by Northwest Airlines.

When a passenger will be delayed because of a schedule irregularity involving a Northwest Airlines flight the following will apply: Where Northwest Airlines causes such delay or in the case of a misconnection where Northwest Airlines was the original receiving carrier, Northwest Airlines will transport the passenger without stopover on its next flight on which space is available in the same class of service as the passenger’s original outbound flight at no additional cost to the passenger: When Northwest Airlines causes such delay or in the case of misconnection to Northwest Airlines as the original receiving carrier, Northwest Airlines is unable to provide onward transportation acceptable to the passenger, Northwest Airlines with concurrence of the passenger will arrange for the transportation on another carrier or combination of carriers with whom Northwest Airlines has agreements for such transportation. The passenger will be transported without stopover on its(their) next flight(s), in the same class of service as the passenger’s original outbound flight at no additional cost to the passenger. If space is only available on a flight(s) of a higher class of service, such flight(s) will be used without stopover at no additional cost to the passenger, only if it (they) will provide an earlier arrival at the passenger’s destination or next stopover or transfer point. If space is only available and used on a Northwest Airlines flight(s) of a lower class of service acceptable to the passenger, Northwest Airlines will provide a refund of the difference in fares pursuant to Rule 260 (Refunds-Involuntary).


Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is the only major carrier not to have a Rule 240. They do, however, have a delay and cancellation policy in their Contract of Carriage.

United Airlines

SCHEDULE IRREGULARITY Schedule Irregularity means any of the following irregularities occurring on the date of departure: Delay in scheduled departure or arrival of a United Airlines flight resulting in a misconnection, or Flight cancellation, omission of a schedule stop, or any other delay or interruption in the scheduled operation of a United Airlines flight, or Substitution of equipment of a different class of service, or Schedule changes which require rerouting of the passenger at departure time because prior notice of such schedule change had not been given such passenger prior to the passenger’s arriving at the airport for check-in on the original flight.

When a passenger will be delayed because of a schedule irregularity involving a United Airlines flight, which for the purposes of this rule … flights exceeding 2 hours … United Airlines will transport the passenger without stopover on its next flight on which space is available in the same class of service as the passenger’s original outbound flight at no additional cost to the passenger. If United Airlines is unable to provide onward transportation acceptable to the passenger, United Airlines, with the concurrence of the passenger, will arrange for the transportation on another carrier or combination of carriers with whom United Airlines has agreements for such transportation. The passenger will be transported without stopover on its (their) next flight(s), in the same class of service as the passenger’s original outbound flight at no additional cost to the passenger. If space is only available and used on a United flight(s) of a lower class of service acceptable to the passenger, United Airlines will provide a refund of the difference in fares pursuant to Rule 260 (Refunds-Involuntary). If United Airlines is unable to arrange alternate air transportation acceptable to the passenger, United Airlines shall refund the flight coupon(s) for the unflown portion(s) in accordance with Rule 260 (Refunds-Involuntary).

FORCE MAJEURE EVENT As used in this rule “Force Majeure Event” means: Any condition beyond United Airlines’ control (including, but without limitation, meteorological conditions, acts of God, riots, civil commotion, embargoes, wars, hostilities, disturbances, or unsettled international conditions), actual, threatened or reported or because of any delay, demand, circumstances or requirement due, directly or indirectly, to such condition; or Any strike, work stoppage, slowdown, lockout or any other labor-related dispute involving or affecting United Airlines’ service, or Any government regulation, demand, or requirement; or Any shortage or labor, fuel, or facilities of United Airlines or others; or Any fact not reasonably foreseen, anticipated, or predicted. United Airlines may, in the event of a Force Majeure Event, without notice, cancel, terminate, divert, postpone, or delay any flight or the right of carriage or reservation of traffic accommodations and determine if any departure or landing should be made, without any liability except to refund in accordance with Rule 260 (Refunds-Involuntary) any unused portion of the ticket.

AMENITIES / SERVICE FOR DELAYED PASSENGERS Lodging: The passenger will be provided one night’s lodging, or a maximum allowance for one night’s lodging as established by each location, when a United Airlines flight on which the passenger is being transported is diverted to an unscheduled point and the delay at such point is expected to exceed 4 hours during the period 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Exception: Hotel accommodations will not be furnished: To a passenger whose trip is interrupted at a city which is his/her origin point, stopover point, connecting point, or permanent domicile or a few listed exceptions when the carrier is diverted to a nearby airport.


US Airways

SCHEDULE IRREGULARITY Schedule Irregularity means any of the following irregularities: Delay in scheduled departure or arrival of a carrier’s flight resulting in a misconnection, or Flight cancellation, omission of a schedule stop, or any other delay or interruption in the schedule operation of a carrier’s flight, or Substitution of equipment of a different class of service, or Schedule changes which require rerouting of the passenger at departure time of the original flight. Exception: Schedule Irregularity does not include Force Majeure Events as defined. When a passenger will be delayed because of a schedule irregularity, any carrier causing such delay or in the case of a misconnection the original receiving carrier(s) will transport the passenger without stopover on the next flight on which space is available in the same class of service as the passenger’s original outbound flight at no additional cost to the passenger: If space is available on a flight(s) of a different class of service, acceptable to the passenger, such flight(s) will be used without stopover at no additional cost to the passenger only if the flight will provide an earlier arrival at the passenger’s destination, next stopover or transfer point.

As used in this rule “Force Majeure Event” means:

1.Any condition beyond US Airways’ control (including, but without limitation, meteorological conditions, acts of

2.God, riots, civil commotion, embargoes, wars, hostilities, disturbances, or unsettled international conditions),

3.actual, threatened or reported or because of any delay, demand, circumstances or requirement due, directly or

4.indirectly, to such condition; or

5.Any strike, work stoppage, slowdown, lockout or any other labor-related dispute involving or affecting US

6.Airways’ service, or

7.Any government regulation, demand, or requirement; or

8.Any shortage or labor, fuel, or facilities of US Airways or others; or

9.Any fact not reasonably foreseen, anticipated, or predicted by US Airways.

US Airways may, in the event of a Force Majeure Event, without notice, cancel, terminate, divert, postpone, or delay any flight or the right of carriage or reservation of traffic accommodations and determine if any departure or landing should be made, without any liability except to refund in the original form of payment in accordance with involuntary refund rules any unused portion of the ticket.

AMENITIES / SERVICE FOR DELAYED PASSENGERS Lodging: The passenger will be provided one night’s lodging, or a maximum allowance for one night’s lodging as established by each location, when a US Airways flight on which the passenger is being transported is diverted to an unscheduled point and the delay at such point is expected to exceed 4 hours during the period 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Exception: Hotel accommodations will not be furnished: To a passenger whose trip is interrupted at a city which is his/her permanent domicile or, When the destination designated and the flight on which the passenger is on the passenger’s ticket is:

Baltimore;Washington

Dulles Airport Baltimore

Washington National Airport Newark

White Plains / Islip/New York City

Ft. Lauderdale;Miami

Greensboro;Winston-Salem Winston-Salem

Greensboro Islip;Newark / New York City / White Plains


Before flying, make sure you have your ticket, ID, and a copy of the Rule 240 for your airline. — BEN POPKEN

Rule 240: Don’t Leave Home Without It! [My Travel Rights] (Thanks to Riley!)

Comments

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  1. Rajio says:

    Lets be clear. by “We’ve got them posted inside for many major airlines.” you mean “We’ve got them posted inside for American major airlines.”

  2. jblake1 says:

    Good luck invoking Rule 240 on Trans World Airlines. They don’t exist anymore and would probably not respond to your request for compensation.

  3. acambras says:

    @jblake1:

    I don’t see the Rule 240 for Eastern or Braniff.

  4. Note that many of these exclude weather based delays so good luck out in the field.

  5. Jabes says:

    Rajio: a cursory glance at some non-U.S. airlines’ websites indicates that they do not have a Rule 240 as such, leading me to think that “Rule 240″ is specific to the UNited States. Airline websites do, however, show the rules of carriage or contract of carriage, which contains information similar to that of Rule 240.

  6. Ben Popken says:

    @Jabes: @Rajio: Given that the term “Rule 240″ is holdover terminology from when US airlines were Federally regulated, you would be hard-pressed to find something listed under the same name internationally. Might be able to find something by searching for “conditions of carriage.”

  7. wdcbrucefan says:

    Do these rules apply to flights on partner carriers? What about international flights? For example, I have a tight connection thru Germany. The first leg is on Augsburg Airways, a Lufthansa / United partner, then the 2nd leg is a Lufthansa flight #, operated by United (from Germany to US).

  8. flightwisdom_guru says:

    Rule 240 is technically nonexistent. As your reference link says, many airlines still have a Rule 240. However, it has not officially existed since the end of deregulation. You can use the phrase and see if they understand what you mean.

    And Rule 240 only applied when it did to US carriers.

    For legal enforcability, on all IATA carriers, domestic and international…a similar provision is listed as IATA Rule 735D.

    We have an extended explanation on our site.

    http://blog.flightwisdom.com/2007/04/06/involuntary-rerout

  9. cracker002 says:

    This is one of the most useful Consumerist posts, I think. I’ve read a couple of travel magazine consumer stories that had the (I thought) insane recommendation that you print out the entire “conditions of carriage” document to bring with you on your flight. But those documents can be 100 pages! I hate consumer advice that absolutely no one will ever follow. But these will easy to cut, paste, and print out.

  10. cabinaero says:

    Small world – that’s Hong Kong International. I’d recognize that ceiling anywhere.

    Also remember that, depending on your status with an airline, you may get better treatment during irregular operations. It doesn’t hurt to ask (NICELY! Ask *NICELY*!)

  11. Rocksteady says:

    Seems to be that if you are departing from the EU on a flight longer than 3500km there are additional protections under EU regulations. See eg Qantas’ policy on such flights for cancellations or delay –

    http://www.qantas.com.au/infodetail/flying/beforeYouTravel

    Useful to know, if only for the look on the ticket agent’s face when you pepper your complaint with references to ‘EC regulation No 261/2004′.

  12. katewrath says:

    This is crazy helpful, so thanks.

    Unfortunately, I have exhausted my Grammar Patience for the week, and so, tediously, I must point out:

    “Note that these rules preclude weather, war or other events outside the airline’s control.”

    To preclude is to prevent or to make impossible. These rules do not prevent weather, war or other events, although the reverse might be true.

    The phrase you want is “these rules are precluded by weather, war or other events.”

    Again, I am really sorry to be a drag about it, but it’s been a hard week and my self-control is shot.

  13. tubgnome says:

    Only read United’s as it’s the only airline I tend to fly on.

    Their’s doesn’t seem that ‘open’ compared to what was elaborated in the post.

    Doesn’t cover mechanical delays

    Only agree to hotel accommodation if delay is expected to be over 4 hrs between 10pm and 6am (and we’ve all suffered the ‘rolling expected 3 hr delay’ where this would thus never be invoked).

    They agree to put you on the next available flight or one of another airline only if they have an agreement with them.

    Seems like standard stuff, but nothing out of their way.

    Ok, United is a pretty lame-ass airline but for international travel it tends to be very competitive.

  14. katana says:

    Rule 240 is USA only. Um, it’s a (U.S.) federal “rule.”

    Per about.com:
    “Where did Rule 240 come from?

    Rule 240 was a U.S. federal requirement prior to airline deregulation in 1978. It was one of the many stipulations that existed prior to deregulation – the U.S. government obligated airlines to abide by a set of rules regarding the transport of passengers and the rights of passengers. Rule 240 has remained in existence because after deregulation most airlines continued to respect the ‘old rules’. “

    “A common misconception is that all airlines are required to have a Rule 240, but they do not. And airlines have different versions of Rule 240, making it even more difficult for passengers to know their rights in the event of a delay or cancellation that has been caused by the airline.”

    http://airtravel.about.com/cs/delays/a/rule240.htm

  15. medalian1 says:

    Airtran? Jetblue?

  16. Trackback says:

    How many different excuses have the airlines spewed while you cried and pouted about being stuck on the tarmac for hours?

  17. Binthere2 says:

    True, rule 240 is outdated legislation, however the airlines keep the remnant around as policy. Want to stay level headed and actually get reasonable compensation for being bumped, go over the 240 with the ticket agent point by point. It gives a MINIMUM compensation starting point for negotiations. Remember- they can’t go lower than what they list, but they can go higher.

  18. dancytron says:

    Well, I don’t know if I meet that standard.

    But, NWA Airlines refused to book me on another flight (American Airlines) out the same night and made me go on their flight the next morning, because one leg of the flight had to be first class. This is a plain violation of Rule 240 and I think a nice class action for some lucky lawyer.