How to get the most money back if your flight gets canceled

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Screenshot via Weather.com

Close to 4,000 flights were cancelled on Thursday as a winter storm slammed the Northeast.

If you’re someone who was affected by Thursday’s mass cancellations, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about getting properly reimbursed.

Scroll down for our tips and tricks:


First, check with your airline directly.

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Getty/Scott Eisen

This is the most obvious piece of advice, but airlines should contact you directly allowing you to re-book your flight or get reimbursed.


The credit card you used to book the flight may offer additional compensation.

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Flickr/Mighty Travels

Chase Sapphire, the United Airlines Explorer Card with Chase, and some of the City Bank American Airlines Advantage cards offer protection in the event of a cancellation, George Hobica, the founder and president of airfarewatchdog, previously told Business Insider.

For example, if you’re stuck in an airport away from home, the cards offer between $300 and $500 to book a hotel.


You could be eligible for more compensation if you were flying to an airport in a country part of the European Union.

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AP/Cliff Owen

If you booked a flight through an American airline but were put on an EU-based carrier to fly out of the country, you could be entitled to more compensation if the flight was cancelled.

“You would be entitled to €600 ($666) in compensation, plus hotel cost and meal cost,” Hobica said. The policy notes that you’re entitled the $666 in compensation if your flight was roughly 2,200 miles.

Keep in mind that compensation is not due if the carrier can prove the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances.


There are websites that can help get you compensation.

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TheeErin / Flickr

Hobica said websites like Refund.Me and AirHelp.com can help gather the compensation you deserve.

“They charge a pretty hefty fee like 25% of whatever they recover, but they will do all the paperwork for you and try to get compensation,” he said.


If you’re really in a bind, consider getting a day pass at an airline’s lounge.

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AP/Shizuo Kambayashi

Delta, for example, offers a Day Pass for its Delta Sky Club. The club comes with complimentary Wi-Fi, comfy seats, food, and drinks.

“My number one piece of advice, this is the time, if you are not a member of an airline club, to spend $50 for a day pass,” Hobica said. “You’re going to get better service for rebooking, and information in the lounges rather than waiting in endless lines in the terminal, and it’s also a place to chill out and relax while you’re waiting to be re-accommodated.”