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Avoid the holiday air travel headaches with these tips

Posted at 10:22 PM, Nov 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-17 00:36:30-05

DENVER -- There will be 80,000 people passing through Denver International Airport during the Thanksgiving holiday. We all hope everything goes smoothly, but there are bound to be a few headaches.

Denver7  has a look at some of the most common holiday hang-ups and what you need to know so they don't ruin your trip.

1. Mishandled luggage, which includes lost or delayed luggage has got to be a top gripe when you're traveling by air, right?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the following are the top offenders by number of complaints filed over a one month period.

  • United Airlines  
  • American Airlines
  • Skywest (operates smaller routes under United, American, Delta, Alaska Air)
  • ExpressJet Airlines
  • Envoy Air

If your bag is lost, delayed or damaged airlines are required to compensate you and provide you with tracking info.            

2. Bumping, or when airlines deny you boarding because they've oversold the flight and couldn’t solicit enough volunteers to give up seats requires compensation, but there are a few exceptions.

3. Tarmac delays. A departing and arriving airplane can keep passengers sitting on a tarmac up to 3 hours on a domestic flight and 4 hours on an international flights. If you a passenger deplanes, the airlines don’t have to necessarily them back on.

4. Flight delays and cancellations. Thanksgiving is one of the best times to travel because November is one of the more predictable months for weather patterns. If it happens, passengers should always be reimbursed. Unfortunately, they are not required to provide a hotel room, cab fare or a food voucher.

5. Seating with your family. If you want to be next to your family DOT reminds you to check the type of ticket you have or call the airline before your flight to ask how it may be able to accommodate you.

There are plenty more tips and reminders on the Department of Transportation's Aviation Consumer Protection section.