From: Scott Keyes - Monday May 25, 2020 01:39 pm
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Because you can’t pay for groceries with a Delta gift card.
Canceled flight? You deserve a refund from the airline.
Airlines have spent the past month doing everything they can to avoid giving out refunds for canceled flights. Their favorite alternative: offering travel credit instead.

It’s not right, it’s not legal, and you can’t pay for groceries with a Delta gift card. But they’re hoping you don’t know any better.
⚖️ Know your rights
If an airline cancels your flight, you’re eligible for a cash refund. Period. That’s not me talking, that’s federal law.
🗓 Schedule changes count
If an airline significantly changes your flight itinerary, you’re also eligible for a refund.

Annoyingly, the law doesn’t define exactly what a “significant schedule change” is. Though it varies by airline, in general these would be considered significant:
• 2+ hour change to your arrival or departure time
• Nonstop flight changed to a connecting flight
💵 No excuses
If an airline cancels/changes your flight, you’re eligible for a refund, even if:
• They only canceled/changed one flight in your itinerary
• You had a basic economy ticket
• It’s on a foreign airline. As long as a flight takes off or lands at a US airport, the airline must follow US law
• The airline could really use the cash. That doesn’t give them the right to keep your money
✈️ What about third-party bookings?
If you booked through a major online travel agency (think Expedia or Priceline), the good news is they’re generally following the airlines’ refund policies. If your flight is canceled, you’re owed a refund, even if you booked through a third party.
💪 Be proactive
Few airlines are proactively telling passengers about their right to a refund because they’d prefer you accept a voucher instead. If they’re stonewalling, these are the three things you can do:

• Hang up, call again. Airlines have thousands of call center agents and each has discretion to grant a refund. Countless times I’ve been told no on the first two calls, only to be told yes on the third call.

• File a complaint. The Department of Transportation will forward your complaint to the airline and threaten “enforcement action” if they don’t act soon. Here’s the form.

• Credit Card Dispute. Banks have protections for customers in case they pay for something that they don’t ultimately receive (like, say, a flight that got canceled).
✋ Wait to cancel
If you voluntarily cancel, you’re only entitled to a voucher. Even if you’ve decided not to take a future trip, hold off as long as possible in the hopes the airline cancels your flight.
🤷 Send us your questions
Have you had trouble getting a refund? Or have questions about what to do? Hit Scott up on Twitter.
📞 Spread the word
Do you know someone who deserves a refund from an airline? Forward this email to help them understand their rights.