What to do if your trip has been affected by the grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft

The recent grounding of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft around the globe has caused a headache for airlines and travellers. The immediate impact has been flight cancellations and delayed passengers as airlines scramble to re-seat affected flyers on other flights. It could have been worse. These are new aircraft and although Boeing has a bulging order book, relatively few MAX 8s have been delivered. Australia has escaped almost unscathed since the only carrier currently operating the Max 8 to Australian airports is Fiji Airways.

If you were to be affected the airline has a responsibility to get you to your destination, but that might not happen on the day you'd planned to travel. What if the delay leaves you out of pocket for hotel and other expenses if you're stranded?

According to Angus Kidman, travel expert at Finder, "You may be able to make a claim if a grounded flight has cost you money. That could be due to missing a connecting flight or paying for a night's accommodation when you're not there, for example. If your flight has been cancelled, contact the airline and try to get on another flight. Use alternate channels like Twitter or Facebook while you're on hold to increase your chances."

Another issue is that for the time being at least, given its safety record, there might be some reluctance among travellers to fly aboard the MAX 8. In that case Kidman advises, "Insurers won't cover travellers because they choose not to fly on a particular aircraft."

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