Compensation for Mechanical Failures

June 21, 2012
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. What is the Department of Transportation policy governing airline delays due to mechanical failure? We were stuck at the New Orleans airport for more than 10 hours when our plane had an engine problem and would like compensation.

    A. There is no D.O.T. rule concerning compensation when an airline experiences a mechanical problem. There used to be a D.O.T. rule called Rule 240 that required airlines to put you on another airline’s flight in such circumstances, if that airline would get you to your destination sooner than your original airline. Airlines often will provide some compensation, usually in the form of a travel voucher or frequent flyer miles, in such cases. It doesn’t hurt to ask.