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Stranded travelers get fewer perks

July 6, 2004 at 1:29 PM

, July 6 (UPI) -- The financial woes of several old-style U.S. hub-and-spoke airlines are making them less generous with stranded travelers.

Delta, American Airlines and US Airways say they're giving out fewer hotel vouchers these days, USA Today reported Tuesday.

Due to cost cutting, US Airways spokesman David Castelveter said, "It's rare that we would provide accommodations under weather conditions."

United, Northwest and Continental airlines say they haven't cut back.

No law requires airlines to pay, but they have usually covered lodging and possibly a meal when passengers were stranded due to weather or something within the carrier's control like a mechanical problem.

Before the airlines went into a long slide in 2001, they sometimes would give free lodging for no other reason than a passenger had been polite.

"They were very generous, but they could afford to be," said Michelle Robertson of lodging arranger Nationwide Hospitality of Arlington Heights, Ill.

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