Does Southwest Airlines Compensate For Delayed Flights?


If you were a Southwest air passenger and experienced a flight disruption, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Our team of experts can help you sue the airlines that violated your rights as a passenger.

Although the US doesn’t have the same rights as airlines, European law provides more protection for passengers.

If you have been waiting for your Southwest flight, then you should be prepared for some turbulent summer months. In addition to the Boeing 737 Max flight cancelations, Southwest also extended its flight delays due to the recent thunderstorms.

It’s natural for us to want to get compensated for the time and money that we spent on a delayed flight. Fortunately, Southwest Airlines usually compensates their customers.

Being delayed or canceled is one of the most frustrating things about traveling. It can leave you stuck at the airport and miss out on events that you booked for. You might also lose out on special occasions that you were planning on attending.

Although Southwest is not a European airline, its flights are covered by an air passenger rights regulation known as EC 261. This means that they can claim compensation for their delayed flights.

According to EC 261, if your flight was delayed for more than three hours, you can get up to 600 in compensation. It includes those that were canceled less than 14 days before the scheduled departure.

This regulation also requires airlines to provide their passengers with free food, drink, and lodgings during their stay at the airport.

Claiming Compensation For Delays On Southwest Flights 

Typically, an airline is not required to compensate you for flight delays. However, you may get up to $700 in compensation from Southwest Airlines. You can claim the payment if the delay is significant such as more than one hour.

The US Department of Transportation doesn’t provide any protection to passengers who were delayed due to a Southwest flight’s delayed arrival.

However, if your flight left Europe and reached the US with over three hours of delay, you could be compensated under European Regulation 261/2004.

Unfortunately, many passengers can’t get compensated because the airlines make it hard for them to claim. This is where our team comes in – to help them get the compensation they deserve.

Southwest Airlines Eligibility For Delay Compensation 

The airline has a one-hour delay compensation policy for passengers. You can claim up to $700 depending on the time and flight. Besides that, you are also eligible for compensation for delays of more than three hours if you’re an EU citizen.

Though European Court of Justice (EC 261) has granted flight delay compensation to thousands of passengers, many others are not eligible for it.

Flight delays that occur while traveling from an EU airport are not covered by EC 261.

If your flight was cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances, such as a terrorist attack or a medical emergency, you may be entitled to compensation.

However, strikes by airline employees are not covered by this exception. They are considered the actions of the airline’s employees.

However, since major delays are only counted if they happen during the same time as your original flight, Southwest Airlines is not obligated to pay compensation.

Things To Do To Claim Compensation From Southwest Airlines 

Firstly, you must contact the airline to understand the cause of the delay. For instance, is it because of weather conditions or technical issues? You must also take pictures of the boarding pass to prove the delay when claiming the compensation.

Before claiming for flight cancellation or delayed compensation, ask about the reason behind the delay or cancellation.

You can also take photos of the boarding pass and the flight confirmation to prove that your flight was delayed.

While waiting at the airport, be sure to ask for food and beverages. It’s also important to ask for accommodation and transportation to and from the airport.

Southwest Airlines Flight Delay Compensation Amount

Typically, the compensation amount depends on the delay duration and flight time. You are eligible to get $300 for a less than three hours delay and $500 for more than three hours. Meanwhile, the maximum amount you can get as compensation is $700.

The compensation amount that passengers can get depends on the length of the delay and the time it took for the flight to reach its destination.

Since flights from Europe to the US are longer than 3,500 kilometers, you’ll be entitled to 600 for each kilometer.

If your flight’s delay is less than 3 hours, you’re entitled to $300. If it’s over 3 hours, you’re entitled to $500.

However, if the flight’s arrival time exceeds 3 hours, you’re not entitled to compensation. This means that if the delay occurred after the flight’s take-off, then you’re not qualified to claim.

The Department of Transportation doesn’t guarantee that passengers will be compensated for a canceled flight.

Usually, Southwest will rebook passengers on another flight if seats are available.

You may be entitled to compensation under European Regulation 261 if you were notified of a flight’s cancellation less than 14 days before the scheduled date of the flight.

To determine if you’re eligible, use our compensation calculator. It will give you an estimate of how much compensation you can get.

To be eligible, the cause of the flight cancellation must have been within the control of the airlines. This includes, but is not limited to, coronavirus outbreaks.

This can be caused by unfavorable weather conditions or ATC restrictions that prevent the airlines from operating the scheduled flights.

These types of issues are not considered extraordinary circumstances under EU law. If you were denied compensation, make sure to contact us or let us handle it.

Even if Southwest rebooks you on another flight, you’re still eligible for compensation.

Things To Do During Flight Cancellation By Southwest Airlines

Firstly, you should keep everything regarding the cancellation with you. For instance, do not lose the receipts of expenses you suffered from and save the notification for proof. You can also ask for a refund if the delay is affecting your itinerary.

You will need to keep all the documents related to the flight cancellation, as well as the receipts of the expenses that were incurred because of the incident.

Sometimes, you’ll be notified about a flight’s cancellation even before you get to the airport. This is because the airlines are trying to get rid of the backlog of passengers.

After getting notified about the flight’s cancellation, you should ask to be rebooked on another flight. You can also check the status of your reservation at Southwest’s website.

If the flight’s cancellation makes it inconvenient for you, then you can request a refund. However, if the new arrangements are good enough for you, then you’ll most likely wait at the airport.

Expected Southwest Airlines Compensation Amount 

Typically, you can get up to $700 for Southwest flight delays in the US. Meanwhile, you can receive up to $3,500 for flight cancellations by Southwest Airlines. The amount mainly depends on the change and your original flight time.

If your flight is delayed more than two hours before departure, Southwest has your rights to care. They must provide you with a meal and a drink, as well as phone calls and an organized stay near the airport.

If you agreed to be rebooked on another flight, look at how late you were when your original flight was canceled.

Using historical data, Southwest often sells more tickets than the number of seats available on the plane. This strategy works as it allows them to get rid of the passengers who didn’t show up for their flight.

It’s inevitable that some passengers will not be allowed to board the plane due to the number of people on the flight. If you volunteer to give up your seat, Southwest will ask you to forfeit your compensation.

The exact amount that Southwest will compensate you for overbooking varies depending on the situation. In the event of a delayed trip, the compensation amount is equivalent to the delay of up to four hours.

There is only one scenario where you can choose to be compensated for overbooked flight denial. It is, however, a better option.

James Newman

James Newman is an air travel fanatic. From the fear of flying, TSA regulations, and saving money on flights & airlines, James has extensive knowledge when it comes to air travel. He hopes to make your air travel experience a better one with his blog flyingcomfortably.com.

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