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Most Pax Stranded by ATL Blackout Aren’t Entitled to Much Compensation

A fire and subsequent blackout at the world’s busiest airport left hundreds of passengers across the US without a place to lay their heads for the night, but in most cases, airlines are off the hook when it comes to compensating these stranded flyers.

Passengers stuck at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) on Monday had more immediate concerns than financial reimbursement following a crippling fire and near total loss of electricity at the busiest airport on the planet. in some cases, flyers were reportedly stuck in aircraft waiting on the tarmac for hours. According to local media reports, some passengers stranded in the dark at the sprawling airport soon discovered that many of the drinking water fountains in some terminals were also out of commission.

Thankfully, electric power was restored to a majority of the airport within about 12 hours, but the lingering out-of-pocket expenses continued to mount for many air travelers across North America. As delays and cancellations stacked up at airports across the US, many passengers slowly started to realize they would be left to their own devices when it came to the extra expense of finding unexpected overnight accommodations and nourishment.

While most carriers affected by the blackout waived change fees for flights passing through ATL and according to the Delta Air Lines website, some passengers stuck at the airport would be entitled to complimentary hotel rooms, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that most of the affected passengers sleeping throughout the airport on Monday and Tuesday would be entitled to precious little in the way of monetary compensation for out-of-pocket expenses. According to the newspaper, airlines have resisted even the idea of waiving bag fees for the thousands of items of luggage indefinitely stuck in transit.

“Passengers stuck in Atlanta overnight or stranded for hours on the tarmac might think they deserve to be compensated for the mess,” the hometown newspaper explained. “They shouldn’t hold their breath. Most airlines say they’re only responsible for getting flyers to their destinations after cancellations caused by a huge power failure at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.”

Of course, passengers with travel insurance are likely to have much of their unanticipated expenditures reimbursed. Travelers who may have been stuck on the tarmac for longer than US Department of Transportation (USDOT) rules allow may eventually be eligible for compensation as part of a settlement with the airline.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
swm61230 December 21, 2017

Not the airlines fault 100% but it does sickening me that the lack of goodwill with companies now a days. I am not saying to put them at the Ritz. I am not saying that they all should get reimbursed for a double eagle steakhouse experience..... But some sort of hey this sucks and yes we are making record profits so here is a this sucks compensation for everyone stuck in this horrible situation.... $50-100 for each, No change fees, no baggage fees, no fees of any kind that we would normally charge you if you were affected on this day and this day only. Hell why not just give out soda and water and light snacks. That would make me want to change my preferred airline and give them my business and to know that they care about the human being enough to tell the stock holders to piss off....these customers have made you and us money so let's give a little back to them in this situation. That small amount of cost to do that would come back to them in such a huge way. Awards, business, social media, marketing..... 10 fold or more would be the return on that investment. Instead all this has done is show me to stay away from certain airlines who don't care about human beings. The very thing that they are charged with transporting safely from A-B.

RUAMKZ December 20, 2017

Not any of the airlines' fault, that's for sure.

CDKing December 20, 2017

Tarmac delay rule might be waived "Exceptions to the time limits are allowed only for safety, security, or air traffic control-related reasons", i mean there are only a limited number of air stairs and parking place available. Where are they going to go if they got off the plane since there was limited power for those already packed like sardines.