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Delayed on Delta

Mark Orwoll, seasoned traveler and Travel + Leisure's Managing Editor, is here to help you with your travel questions. To ask a question, send an email to AskMark@amexpub.com

** Please note: Mark can answer questions in his column only; the volume of mail he receives makes it impossible for him to send personal replies. Check back here daily to see if your question was answered, or search the Ask Mark archives to see if a similar question was previously answered.

Q. On a recent trip to Portugal, Delta canceled a connecting flight, which resulted in my friend and me losing an entire day of a short 10-day European vacation. I have since exchanged emails with Delta, which refuses to provide me compensation for this event, saying it was beyond their control because the cancellation was due to air traffic control and bad weather. However, it is their practice of overbooking that made it difficult for me to rebook myself on another flight. I am a six-year Delta Medallion flier, but Delta didn't seem to think that mattered. Can you help?

A. Sorry, but I am reluctantly siding with the airline on this one. Although Delta's customer service personnel handled the situation poorly (based on more details that you included in your edited letter to me), I have to agree with them about not giving you compensation for a delay caused by weather. Trust me—you don't want an airline to fly in bad weather if the pilots or air traffic controllers think it's unsafe! The fact that you couldn't easily find an alternative flight because so many of them were overbooked is, unfortunately, the way the airline business works these days--not just Delta, but virtually every airline the world over. Although I can't support your claim, you certainly have my sympathy, whatever that may be worth.

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