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Flight canceled? Here's what you need to know

More than 2,300 flights were impacted across the country over the weekend. American Airlines has blamed weather and staffing shortages for delays and cancellations.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — American Airlines is still trying to get on track after hundreds of flights across the United States were canceled or delayed over the weekend due to bad weather and staffing shortages. 

American Airlines blamed high winds at its Dallas, Texas, hub as a key factor that led to staffing issues at airports nationwide. On Monday, Nov. 1, American was forced to cancel 486 flights nationwide, including 149 in Charlotte, according to Flight Aware.

These delays left passengers frustrated and desperate to find a way home. Questions started popping up on social media about passengers' rights, so WCNC Charlotte's VERIFY team went to American Airlines and travel industry experts to answer them. 

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Do you get your money back if you purchase a flight that gets canceled? 


This is false.

No, the airline does not have to give you your money back, but it may if you ask them to. Check with your airline for their policy and ask about refunds. 


According to the US Department of Transportation, there is no federal requirement for domestic itineraries for airlines to compensate passengers whose flights are delayed or canceled. 

According to the American Airlines website, it states:

"If your trip was canceled, you'll be able to use the value of your unused ticket and seat payments towards a future trip." 

The airline also states if you decide not to fly because of a cancellation or major delay, you can request a refund for the remaining ticket value and related operational costs. 

"You will basically need to say, 'I'm not interested in a voucher, I'm not interested in being rescheduled,' and just push back on that," Burnham said.


Do you have to pay full price if you switch airlines because your flight was canceled? 


This is true.

Yes, you have to pay full price if you are switching airlines. 


"Generally yes, if you are buying your own ticket and the airline is not using one of their interline agreements to get you somewhere else you will be on the hook for that," Burnham said. 

According to American Airlines, they do partner with JetBlue. Though Burnham told WCNC Charlotte you have to pay full price, there are last-minute deals and a good opportunity to use airline points. 

RELATED: Yes, you can save money by buying an airline ticket at the airport, but it depends on the airline


Does the airline have to provide a food voucher if the flight is delayed due to weather? 


This is false.

No, the airline does not have to provide you with a food voucher if the flight is delayed due to weather. 


According to DOT, there are no federal requirements to have the airlines give you a food voucher. 

According to American Airlines, if the delay or cancellation is caused by events beyond their control, like weather, you are responsible for your own meals.

Burnham said he believes issues with American Airlines will settle down this week. However, he said it is a good idea to look at other flight options just in case. 

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.     

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