Getting Compensated for Flight Delays

One of the questions we get asked frequently is “My flight was delayed, how do i get compensation from the airline?”. While I can understand why we feel that we should get compensation for delays which interrupt and inconvenience our time, the truth is U.S airlines aren’t really REQUIRED by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to compensate passengers in the United States.

Although airlines aren’t required to compensate you for flight delays, JetBlue DOES offer compensation to it’s passengers under certain circumstances. Before we get into that it is important to note that flight delays due to weather are NOT a reason to expect any type of compensation. This type of delay is outside of the airline’s control. Also note, for the sake of keeping this post easy to comprehend, we are only referring to flight delays in the United States and not delays caused due to getting bumped off flights (that’s a whole different ball game).

Tip: To prevent getting stuck on a flight that may end up getting delayed, try flying out early morning. Working for an airline taught us that if one flight is delayed, it will cause a domino effect into other flights. Therefore when possible keep this in mind when selecting at what time you are going to fly out.

JetBlue’s contract of carriage states:

Claiming Compensation

-For travel booked through or 1-800-JETBLUE:
If your flight qualifies for compensation, you will receive an email from JetBlue within seven days of your flight’s scheduled departure. This will happen automatically and there is no need to contact JetBlue.
For travel not booked through or 1-800-JETBLUE
If your flight qualifies for compensation, please call 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) seven days or more after your flight’s scheduled departure to inquire about potential compensation.

How do you qualify for Compensation?

You qualify for compensation if your flight is delayed due to a Controllable Irregularity. So what is a “controllable irregularity”? It means a delay, cancellation, or diversion that is not caused by Force Majeure Event. In layman’s terms, delays caused due to an event within JetBlue’s reasonable control will grant you compensation. (For the sake of clarity we listed events that are not considered within Jetblue’s control at the bottom of this page.)

Passengers whose flight is delayed due to a Controllable Irregularity are entitled to compensation good for future travel on JetBlue:
Delay time: Compensation amount
1:30-1:59 hours: $25 Credit
2-2:59 hours: $50 Credit
3-3:59 hours: $75 Credit
4-4:59 hours: $100 Credit
5-5:59 hours: $125 Credit
6 or more hours: $200 Credit

“JetBlue will provide free movies on flights that are greater than two hours in duration for customers whose flight is delayed more than 3 hours after scheduled departure.”

Passengers who are delayed while sitting on the plane waiting to depart are entitled to the following compensation for future travel on JetBlue:

Delay time: Compensation amount
3-3:59 hours: $50 Credit
4-4:59 hours: $125 Credit
5 or more hours: $200 Credit

“JetBlue will provide customers experiencing an onboard ground delay with 36 or more channels of DIRECTV, food and drink, access to clean restrooms and, as necessary, medical treatment. JetBlue will not permit the aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours unless the pilot-in-command determines there is a safety or security-related reason for remaining on the tarmac or Air Traffic Control advises the pilot-in-command that returning to the gate or another disembarkation point elsewhere in order to deplane would significantly disrupt airport operations.

If you land at your destination and there is a delay getting off the plane JetBlue will compensate you as follows:

Delay time: Compensation amount
1-1:59 hours: $50 Credit
2-2:59 hours: $125 Credit
3 or more hours: $200 Credit

So are you owed any compensation by JetBlue? Have you received any compensation from them? Always know what your passenger rights are. Not only will they grant you compensation when you are entitled to it, but it will also save you time from arguing on something you are not entitled to.

Safe travels!

Events not within Jetblue’s control: weather conditions; acts of government or airport authorities such as air Traffic Control Delays, runway closures or airport construction.An emergency situation requiring care, protection or response to protect person or any event that is not resonably foreseen, predicted or anticipated. Acts of God, U.S. military or airlift emergency or substantially expanded U.S. military airlift requirements, as determined by the U.S. government; grounding of a substantial number of aircraft as a result of activation of the U.S. Civil Reserve Air Fleet; strikes or labor unrest; civil commotions, embargoes, wars or other hostilities, whether actual, threatned or reported; government regulation, demand or requirement; damage to aircraft caused by a third-party;

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