If you're reading this, the holiday season has probably come and gone by now. Hopefully, you got to eat something delicious, share some time with friends and family, and if you're lucky - received a great gift! But that means it's possible you also traveled across this great nation of ours. Travel during the "holiday season" is quite common and for many, it's when they are most likely to take a plane and stay at a hotel. These types of experiences can be lovely but they can also be severely lacking. This quick blow will help point you in the right direction if you think you may be owed a refund or other payment due to a recent experience with an airline or hotel.

Most Common Reasons to Get a Refund from an Airline:

Believe it or not, the Department of Transportation has set guidelines that are established to inform airlines the way they have to treat you. But in terms of getting a refund, the most commonly asked reasons for a refund or compensation are:

  • The flight was delayed by more than 5 hours, and you no longer want to take the flight.
  • The flight was canceled less than 14 days before departure, and the alternative flight offered doesn't serve your original travel plans.
  • You were denied boarding but you don't want to take the alternative flight offered.
  • The flight was delayed for 3 hours or more.
  • The flight was canceled less than 14 days before it was due to depart.
  • You were denied boarding due to overbooking and were not provided with appropriate alternative travel

If any of this has happened to you and your family, you may want to sue an airline in small claims court. Here are our guides on how to sue a large airline company in a U.S. Small Claims court:

In addition, we also have provided some insight into the worst airlines to travel with during the holiday season. Be sure to check that out to avoid some common pitfalls.

Most Common Reasons to Get a Refund from a Hotel:

Hotel rooms are expensive - more so during high traffic times like during the holidays. If you aren’t happy with your stay, you can ask for your money back. Here are a few reasons that folks seek a refund:

  • The bed was uncomfortable -  If the hotel bed is not comfortable, then the hotel has failed in its main offering.
  • The hotel’s facilities were closed for maintenance - If you were promised a pool and a gym, and all you got was a bagel and an apology, then you may be owed payback.
  • The facilities were dirty or in bad condition - similar to the one above, except the facilities are technically "open" but mostly uninhabitable. You have the right to clean facilities.
  • Excess noise - every hotel has a responsibility for keeping a time when most guests can expect to sleep without an audible disturbance. Loud guests, construction or other sleep disturbances may result in you being owed money.
  • Roaches, Rodents and Bed Bugs - these critters can carry a lot of filth and most of us agree - you don't want them in your home. So why wouldn't you expect the same of a hotel where you paid to stay?

If you've found any of these experiences to be familiar, you should read our guide on the worst-reviewed hotels in America. This may help you avoid any further issues in the future.

And if you do find yourself wanting to send a demand letter asking for payment, or filing a small claim against a hotel, we've written some guides on how to sue the major operators in the United States:

If you have any questions about this article or our software services that empower you to get your money back, please don't hesitate to contact us. Remember, you already survived the worst of the holiday travel if you're reading this article and now it's time to get what you are owed.