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Skyrocketing prices and flight cancellations bring pain for PDX flyers

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 4:56 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - It’s no secret airline prices have skyrocketed, making it challenging to plan and pay for a trip and then once you book one, you’re likely to face more challenges along the way. That’s because there’s been staff shortages, pilot shortages, bad weather and equipment malfunctions, all leading to delays and cancellations.

On Monday, according to flightaware.com, there were more than 30 flights delayed at PDX.

If you’re flight is cancelled, airlines will have to put you on the next flight if they can. Marie Dodds of AAA says, you are entitled to ask for a refund for the unused portion of your ticket if your flight is canceled. Before booking, always read the fine print and the airline’s policy.

“Say that you’re flying somewhere, and you end up having a very long delay, you may be able to spend the night in that place or if you need meals, sometimes insurance will cover that, sometimes the airlines will cover that if you ask,” says Dodds.

Rosa Garcia, at airhelp.com, says you may want to think twice before accepting a voucher, but ultimately, the decision is up to the flyer. “We typically advise against accepting airline vouchers. If you are denied boarding, do not volunteer your seat in exchange for perks or a voucher. If you do, you could be giving up your right to any additional compensation.”

“A lot of times airlines will offer a voucher for future trouble and you can always say, ‘You know what no I’d rather just have a refund for the unused portion of my ticket,’” says Dodds. “With prices going up that voucher might be able to might get you a trip for a good price”

Some ways to avoid delays or cancellations -- consider purchasing travelers’ insurance, plan ahead or add an extra day to your schedule, especially if you’re traveling for an event. AAA suggests purchasing your ticket directly from the airline instead of a third-party source and if you can, purchase the first flight in the morning because they tend to be on time rather than later in the day.

When you book your flight, download the airline’s app so you can receive push notifications and be the first to find out about delays, gate changes or cancellations.