Is your airline obligated to get you to your destination?
That's a burning question with flight delays and cancellations occurring by the thousands on a daily basis.
According to travel-consumer expert Christopher Elliott, the disturbing answer is no.
We were very fortunate that Alaska signed our SEA-LAX ticket over to Delta on our recent flights to Australia via Fiji. We benefited from two factors that Elliott mentions:
First, we are elite members of Alaska's mileage program.
Second (and probably more important), we were on s complex codeshare itinerary, booked through Alaska and using our Alaska miles.
In addition, we had happened to visit an Alaska Lounge in Seattle and an agent there took pity on us when we told her the waits to talk to an agent were several hours by phone and an estimated one or two hours at the SEA Customer Service desk. She knew the right person to call and got us tickets. Otherwise, our trip would have been over before it started.
Many thousands of air travelers are not as fortunate.