For this list, we’ll be looking at some common but often overlooked rules, regulations and strategies in the US and Europe that protect travelers from being taken advantage of, as well as how the rights of travelers are handled well or poorly in general, these rights are current as of 2019, and can of course change overtime. Cruise rights went on holiday. You generally want things to be simple. This is especially true when you’ve spent your hard earned cash on an all inclusive package. Like those offered by cruise ship companies, but as some unlucky travelers have learned the hard way things can go sideways rather easily when out on the high seas should the worst case scenario occur in your dream vacation, turn into an oceanic nightmare.
You’ll be happy that you read the fine print. First off, forget about maritime law that primarily applies to commercial maritime endeavors and its employees, as well as matters like pollution and salvaging in terms of how it pertains to passengers, it’s basically limited to an individual. Right to Sue in the event of injury aboard a ship, the cruise industry passenger Bill of Rights, on the other hand, is what you want to familiarize yourself with. It entitles you to a refund either in full or partially in the event of trip cancellation resulting from mechanical issues. It also stipulates that the company must either get you to the planned port or alternatively cover the expenses to get you home if an emergency situation arises and you need accommodations at an unplanned destination, the financial responsibility.
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Again befalls the company. Other rights include you being entitled to regular updates regarding the ship’s itinerary, and states should something go amiss. Plus, access to emergency power in the event of generator failure, car rental rights, we have some bad news for you. Unfortunately, the car rental industry is a bit of a mess. By that we mean that the rules, regulations, and laws that govern how these companies can operate tend to be rather inconsistent from state to state and around the world. And considering the fact that people often rent cars to travel between states. Or even countries when in Europe that makes reading the fine print specific to the rental car company of your choosing extra important.
It’s also crucial that you know the difference between your legal rights and company policy. Many companies guarantee the car you’ve reserved if that vehicle, or a comparable 1 isn’t available, you’re usually entitled to an upgrade. But this isn’t law, it’s just a policy that’s common among the big providers. And that’s where things can get tricky. It’s also often their policy to push extra insurance at the counter. Even if you already have your own, no, at least in the United States, it’s your right to refuse, although depending on the specific state you may need to have your own proof of insurance. The key to a happy rental experience. Double check the laws in a specific state before renting. And remember, you always have the right to question any and all fees and conditions you’re presented with. Hotel rates, as with car rentals, can be a bit tough to navigate because of the various overlapping levels of regulation and the lack of clarity in a lot of state laws and statuses. People have been renting short term accommodations in America for hundreds of years, and in some cases it really shows in the outdated wording of regulatory documents.
But here are the most important fundamentals, regardless of which state you’re staying in, a reservation at a hotel is a legal contract unless stipulated otherwise in the reservation. That means that when you show up expecting a room, they have to deliver or refund you, and usually if all the rooms at your level are booked up, you’ll be getting an upgrade. Sadly, if the place is literally. They can’t make good on their end of the deal in such a case, most hotels will cover your stay for one night at a comparable nearby hotel, but it’s not legally guaranteed. Any legal guarantees depend on the varied state law and the wording of your specific hotel contract. Along the same lines, you also have the right to demand that the room come as advertised. If not, you can demand that the problem be rectified as soon as possible, that you be switched rooms, or that they find you alternate accommodations. The facility also needs to be up to. Fire and safety regulations, though that should probably go without saying train rides. Train might not be the most popular mode of travel in North America these days, but it’s still a viable alternative to flying this time. Honored needs of transportation can feel a bit like the Wild West. Most of the major passenger railway companies like Amtrak don’t even have a clear bill of passenger rights beyond a cancellation policy. The American Department of Transportation does have some guidelines, but mainly pertaining to questions of accessibility.
So basically in the United States, your rights in dealing with a railway company are limited to those you have in dealing with any business in the European Union, however, where travel by train is incredibly popular, passengers have clear and defined rights as outlined by EU regulatory bodies. The rail Passenger Rights regulation is very clear. Even specifying the percentage of compensation passengers are entitled to, depending on how long a train is delayed. It’s also very clear about the rights of passengers with limited mobility. All passengers are also entitled to a clear outline of procedures, conditions and the schedule upon purchasing a ticket. In summary, within the EU you’re covered for delays, mechanical failure, damaged or stolen luggage, and you have the right to transport your bicycle so long as you follow their guidelines. So next time you’re traveling in Europe, take the train air travel rights. Now we finally get to the big one. There are tons of rights protecting airline customers. The airlines just don’t want you to know about them more so than with any other type of service relating to the travel industry. It pays to know your rights as a plane. Passenger airlines are quick to hand out vouchers to bump passengers. The reason they often expire quickly, they have a lot of strings attached and they cost the airline nothing up front.
Here’s the thing though, you have the right to ask to be reimbursed in cash or check and if the compensation is for having been bumped from an overbooked flight, they have no choice but to comply. The US Department of Transportation drops the ball with passenger trains, but thankfully they’ve got their act together when it comes to aviation. If you’ve been involuntarily bumped. And it results in a delay of one to two hours. You’ll be compensated 200%. The value of a one way ticket and over 2 hours it jumps to 400% up to a maximum of $1350 and you’re entitled to payment the same day. Similarly, if you experience a lengthy tarmac delay after boarding the plane, passengers have the right to get off after three or four hours, depending on the destination. After two hours, snacks and beverages must be offered. During this time, toilets also have to be available. In the event that luggage is delayed, the airline must provide you with adequate compensation to cover daily needs and expenses. You don’t need to accept whatever tiny sum they offer. You should lose your baggage. They must cover your losses up to $3500 for domestic flights. Last but not least, you can always cancel any plane ticket you purchased within the 1st 24 hours. If these rules are often not followed, you need to make sure they are.