After a turbulent summer of travel, major airlines have stepped up their customer service policies to provide meals and hotel rooms to passengers who are stranded on delayed flights. A food voucher, hotel room or both is available to passengers who are forced to wait for three hours or more. Southwest Airlines and American Airlines have similar policies. Southwest provides a meal voucher for a delayed flight and will reimburse the customer for reasonable travel and lodging expenses.
If your flight is delayed more than 12 hours, you should claim compensation from the airline. American Airlines is required to reimburse you for reasonable expenses incurred while waiting for your delayed flight. The company also provides food vouchers for those who are forced to spend the night on the plane. It’s best to ask for a written confirmation of the hotel room and transfer services when claiming the reimbursement.
If you have a meal voucher, you can use it for food and drink at any restaurant at the airport. You’ll need to use it on the day of travel, not the day after. Also, the vouchers are only valid for food and drink, not alcohol. You can’t expect a five-course meal, but you can enjoy a burger or a pizza while waiting for your flight.
The American Airlines food voucher program is also available for passengers on delayed flights. If your flight is delayed three hours or longer, American Airlines will rebook you on the next available flight. Because they have multiple flights throughout the day, you might only have to wait a couple hours or an entire day.