Alaska Airlines: Rule 240 is alive and well

George Hobica, November 01, 2007
Fares from Washington DC:

    Here's another in our continuing series looking at the airlines' contracts of carriage pertaining to flight cancellations and delays. We're happy to say that reports of Rule 240's demise are greatly exaggerated. Below, a verbatim cut and paste from Alaska's web site.

    You'll see that not only does Alaska have a Rule 240, which states that they will try to accommodate you on another airline should your flight be cancelled or delayed, but they also spell out other amenities they'll provide. If the flight is just two hours late, they'll give you a drink, plus 1000 frequent flyer miles, or a $25 coupon good for a future flight. And if you're 100 miles or more away from home, they promise hotel accommodations. Exceptions are made for delays caused by air traffic control or weather.

    And we quote:

    240AS - Flight Delays/Cancellations

       1. Liability of Carrier: Except to the extent provided in Paragraph b) of this rule, AS shall not 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. This exclusion from liability includes actual or consequential damages.


       2. Options of Passengers: The provisions of this rule apply only to passengers who have a valid ticket reflecting a confirmed reservation on a flight which he/she does not use due to schedule irregularity.
       3. Definitions - Schedule Irregularity means:
             1. Delay in scheduled departure or arrival of flight resulting in a misconnection, or
             2. Flight cancellation, omission of a scheduled stop, or any other delay or interruption in the scheduled operation of an Alaska flight, or
             3. Substitution of equipment or a different class of service, or
             4. 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 in Para. I).
       4. Carrier Options for Schedule Irregularity:
             1. For Local Passengers:
                   1. Transport passenger on another of its flights (without stopover) on which space is available in the same or higher class of service than reflected on the passenger ticket at no additional charge, or;
                   2. If acceptable to the passenger, provide transportation on another airline's direct flight, or combination of connecting carriers (without a stopover) in the same or higher class of service [THEY WILL PUT YOU IN FIRST CLASS IF THAT'S THE ONLY OPTION AVAILABLE] on the passenger's ticket at no additional charge, or;


                   3. Refund the entire ticket in an amount determined in accordance with Rule 260 (involuntary refunds) upon surrender of the unused portion of the ticket. [THIS IS IMPORTANT: YOU CAN GET A REFUND IF YOUR FLIGHT IS DELAYED OR CANCELLED AND YOU DECIDE YOU DON'T WANT TO TRAVEL]
             2. For Transit Passengers Connecting From an Alaska Flight:
                   1. Transport passenger on another of its flights (without stopover) on which space is available in the same or higher class of service than reflected on the passenger ticket at no additional charge, or;
                   2. If acceptable to the passenger, provide transportation on another airline's direct flight (without stopover) in the same or higher class of service than reflected on the passenger ticket at no additional charge, or;
                   3. Return passenger to city of origin and refund entire ticket in an amount determined by the routing and the fare specified on the ticket upon surrender of the unused flight coupons.
             3. For Transit Passengers Connection from Another Carrier's Flight:
                   1. Transport passenger on another of its flights (without stopover) on which space is available in the same or higher class of service than reflected on the passenger ticket at no additional charge, or;
                   2. If acceptable to the passenger, provide transportation on another airline's direct flight (without stopover) in the same or higher class of service than reflected on the passenger ticket at no additional charge, or;
                   3. Refund the Alaska airline's segments of the ticket in an amount determined in accordance with Rule 260 (Involuntary Refunds) upon surrender of the unused portion of the ticket.
       5. Change in Schedule: When a ticketed, confirmed passenger will be delayed because of a change in AS's schedule, Alaska will arrange to:
             1. Transport the passenger over its own line to/his/her next stopover point or transfer point (without stopover), in the same or higher class of service, on an alternate AS flight at no additional charge, or
             2. Refund according to Rule 260. Exception 1: When an AS schedule results in the cancellation of all AS service between two cities, AS will reroute passengers holding confirmed reservations on AS between such cities over the lines of one or more other carriers at no additional cost to the passenger. Exception 2: Change in schedule does not include force major events as defined in Paragraph I).
       6. Passengers Rerouted by Other Airlines: When passengers are involuntarily rerouted over the lines of AS by other airlines, AS will have no obligation to accept another airline's ticket which does not reflect a confirmed reservation on AS, unless the issuing airline reissues the ticket for any changes in routing. In the event such carrier is not available to do so, AS reserves the right to reroute the passenger only over its own lines between the points named on the original ticket. Note: Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, AS will not accept tickets issued on the ticket stock of a carrier who voluntarily or involuntarily has become the subject of bankruptcy proceedings or who is in substantial default of its interline obligations, except under the following condition: Tickets issued or revalidated on the defaulting carrier's stock prior to the date of filing of the bankruptcy petition or the date of default will be accepted over the segments where AS is shown as the carrier, on a space-available basis.
       7. Amenities/Services for Delayed Passengers: AS will furnish amenities to passengers holding reservations and to standby passengers who have been cleared for boarding on a flight which is delayed more than 1 hour, or canceled. The type of amenities given will be dependent upon the length of delay and shall not exceed a period of 24 hours from the time of occurrence.

          Exception 1: We cannot provide the amenities outlined in this section if air traffic control, a weather situation, or another extraordinary circumstance beyond our control occurs at any city within your intended flight routing. We will do all possible to advise you of weather problems before departure, but it is always advisable to check weather conditions along your route and plan accordingly.
             1. One Hour: If we've caused your arrival to be one hour or more past your original scheduled arrival, we can assist you in making a phone call. Depending on the location, you'll either receive a Quick Call phone card, or we'll offer you our phone if it is available, and able to dial beyond the airport.
             2. Two Hours:
                   1. If we know in advance that your flight will be delayed two hours or more, and time permits, we will provide either beverage service at the gate or a $6 (USD) Airport Fast Snack certificate. Certificates are only valid at airport concessions on the day of issue, at the airport where your delay occurs.
                   2. You will also receive an AirCare Apology certificate which includes your choice of 1,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Bonus Miles, or a $25 (USD) discount on a future flight. We know your priority is to board and depart as quickly as possible.
                   3. We apologize in advance if there isn't time for a snack, but rest assured you will still receive our Air Care Apology certificate.
             3. Six or More Hours:
                   1. In the unlikely event your flight is delayed an additional four hours, we will provide another snack certificate and/or gate beverage service.
                   2. If your flight is canceled, and the city where the cancellation occurs is 100 miles away from home, hotel accommodations can be provided. Accommodations include single or family rooms and round trip ground transportation to an airport area hotel.

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