Airlines offer vouchers, credits for canceled flights. Customers want money: NPR

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When airlines cancel flights and offer no other option for arriving at their destination within a reasonable time, they are legally bound to offer a refund.

Kay Fochtmann / Getty Images / EyeEm

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Kay Fochtmann / Getty Images / EyeEm

When airlines cancel flights and offer no other option for arriving at their destination within a reasonable time, they are legally bound to offer a refund.

Kay Fochtmann / Getty Images / EyeEm

In the midst of the brutal Chicago cold in January and knowing that March brings its own kind of misery to the Midwest, Mary Fabianski plans to spend a week in early spring on the beaches of Florida with the family.

She booked a flight for Sarasota on United Airlines for a return trip of $ 488 on January 22, before the pandemic affected travel to the United States. But as it approached its travel date of March 29, Fabianski suspected that the trip could not happen. However, she did not cancel her plans right away.

United did it for her on March 26.

“I received an SMS alert on my phone at 1:23 p.m. in the afternoon, simply saying that they were sorry to let me know that my flight to Sarasota had been canceled due to unprecedented circumstances,” said said Fabianski.

When an airline cancels a flight and offers no other option to get to your destination within a reasonable time (which United defines as within six hours of your scheduled arrival time), it is legally bound to offer reimbursement. But it’s not because they have to make it easier for the airlines, as Fabianski discovered.

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