(WSVN) – It seems to be happening more and more: flights getting delayed or cancelled and leaving passengers scrambling or stranded, but do the airlines have to compensate you when that happens? It’s why one father called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Dylan likes Funko Pops.
Andy Weener: “They’re like those bobblehead-looking, like, characters.”
Dylan Weener: “I got this one, it’s an AC/DC one.”
Patrick Fraser: “What are they based on?”
Andy Weener: “Everything: baseball players, any kind of sports has them.”
And since Andy is a great dad, he decided to take Dylan to a comic-con convention in Rhode Island to meet his favorite Funko Pop actor.
Andy Weener: “One of the voice actors was there signing Funko Pops, so he wanted to go.”
They bought tickets to Providence and were sitting at the gate in Fort Lauderdale.
Andy Weener: “We see the pilot and all the crew come off the plane. They said that they smelled the funny smell on the airplane, so they had to turn off the airplane.”
The flight was cancelled, and they were booked on another flight to another city.
Andy Weener: “Instead of a direct flight from here to Rhode Island, it’s going to go to New York, New York, change planes, goes to Boston.”
If Andy had been alone, he would have said “forget it” and went home, but he made his son a promise.
Andy Weener: “We didn’t want to cancel it. My son would be devastated.”
They then flew to New York and on to Boston, where Andy rented a car and drove to Providence.
Andy Weener: “We got to Providence about 2:30 in the morning.”
Andy Weener: “The point is that JetBlue should say, ‘Hey, since we’re not getting you the airport that you want to go to, at least let us take care of the rental car for you to get there.’”
The car was $236. Since they didn’t even plan on renting one, he called JetBlue to get reimbursed for it.
Andy Weener: “I mean, I probably spent six, seven hours on the phone just finding out that they’re not going to reimburse me for the rental car.”
After Andy complained, he said JetBlue agreed to give him $50 for each ticket for the inconvenience of having to fly to a different city.
But Andy’s reply to the operator? He had to spend money on a rental to get to his original destination.
Andy Weener: “‘You didn’t get me where I wanted to go.’ If not, reimburse any of the expenses that they have to cover to get to the place that they need to get to.”
Well, if an airline cannot get you to the city you paid to land in, legally, Howard, what can you do?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “You can get a full refund if the flight is cancelled, but if you get on the plane to a different destination, the airline does not have to pay for any costs to get you to your original destination. That doesn’t mean they cannot pay for a rental car; it just means they legally don’t have to.”
I contacted JetBlue. They told me they would speak to Andy.
Andy says they didn’t pay for the full price of the rental, but did give him $75.
Andy Weener: “Things break, things happen, but I think they should have done that a little bit better.”
But Andy did get something from the trip that was priceless. He got to see Dylan’s face when he met the voice actor of his favorite Funko Pop.
Andy Weener: “It was amazing. It was awesome. Yeah, we got [the signature]. He’s happy; that’s all that matters.”
And isn’t that what it’s all about, seeing your child happy?
As for airlines, what rights do you have if a flight is delayed or cancelled?
There are so many questions, and we have many of the answers. If you fly, click here.
A problem left you grounded? Don’t let time fly by. Book with us. If we can’t leave you soaring, at least we’ll treat you first class.
With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at firstname.lastname@example.org
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