Breaking News
More () »

What you're entitled to if your flight gets canceled due to COVID

According to Mary Fowler, the owner of Riverside Tours and Travel, airlines usually automatically rebook you, but you can ask for a refund.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Major airlines said Monday Omicron continued to force them to cancel flights, impacting about 3,000 flights around the world Monday alone, according to FlightAware.

"I was visiting my uncle in Vermont and was going to go snowboarding, but apparently that's on hold," Jeffrey Morin, whose flight was canceled Monday, said.

Morin planned to fly from Jacksonville to JFK, then on to Vermont, but his connecting flight got canceled.

"They said it was COVID staffing shortages," he said.

Morin's flight, one of thousands major airlines said they had to cancel because crews were either infected or exposed to COVID. According to FlightAware, major airlines canceled about 10,000 flights around the world over the Christmas weekend.

Most of the people at Jacksonville International Airport who First Coast News talked to ran into issues with their connecting flights at other airports, like Morin.

"I mean, I guess I got a crazy story at the airport about this whole fiasco, you know. I guess it's the fist time COVID has really hit me," Morin said. "I'm up there for a little bit. My vacation will be a little short. I'm just trying to make the best of it."

Mary Fowler, owner of Riverside Tours and Travel, said if your flight is canceled, airlines usually automatically rebook you, or give you a credit, but she said you can ask for a refund.

"That is your right to do so," Fowler said. "You can also ask ... some airlines partner with other carriers. So, you could say, 'well, if you can't book me with you, because there's no availability, can you book me with another carrier,' and then it's up to that airline to let them know, but but know that you do not have to accept that credit. You can get refund."

She said if you paid extra for bags or seats, airlines will sometimes refund that too. They may also give you food and hotel vouchers, but you have to ask. 

"For the most part, the airlines, they want you to travel and they want you happy. They are not in the business to lose money," Fowler said. "But they are in the business to kind of keep their clients happy. So, a simple, you know, pack your patience, be ready, and ask. It's a simple, 'Will you put me up in a hotel?' So that just depends on the carrier."

A spokesperson for Jacksonville International Airport said they've had about a dozen cancellations total over the past couple of days. The spokesperson recommends checking your flight's status with your airline before heading to the terminal.