Go to airport. Check in. Discover flight has been canceled. (Canceled?)
Notice lines have tripled and agents have disappeared. Wonder how you’ll make it to bro’s wedding tomorrow.
Throw tantrum. Fake seizure. Down three-ounce liquor bottle in carry-on. (Crap. It’s shampoo.)
Then, as everyone else calls unavailable travel agencies, remember to declare Rule 240 — a nifty and little-known airline ordinance that spells out passengers’ rights in the event of delays, cancellations, missed connections, and other issues “within the control” of the airline.
Suddenly, you’re en route to Fresno.
Here’s the deal: If flight troubles are due to mechanical difficulties or airline incompetence, and another airline can get you to your destination sooner, the original airline is obligated to transfer you. No, this doesn’t include weather delays. But once the sky clears, the airline should book you on the next flight. All the big legacy carriers have a Rule 240 provision, but some low-fare flyers do not (like JetBlue, though we love their Bill of Rights).
And though it’s pretty dorky, you should carry a copy of the airline’s 240 rules. It’ll come in handy when employees don’t know — or don’t tell — about the policy. (You snooze, you lose.)
Unless, of course, you’d rather spend the night on the chairs at gate 115.
For more info and links to airline policies, go to mytravelrights.com.