Meet my short duration hero of the moment, Mitchell Berns, who wouldn't accept a fake "weather cancellation" from Delta.
On that night he was flying home from a romantic getaway with his wife, who was pregnant with twins. Seeing that other airlines' planes were still departing as scheduled, Berns asked Delta to refund his ticket so that he could book one of those flights. They told him (politely, as he recalls) that weather-related cancellations or delays are not the airline's fault and do not come with a refund. Berns checked the National Weather Service report. It said snow that day was expected at five the next morning – hours after his flight was scheduled to land. He and several other passengers from his Delta flight easily booked a JetBlue flight departing at the same time. His tab: $938.
Berns did what any red-blooded American (who happens to be a securities litigator) would do: he sued the bastards, and got a default judgment because Delta was too inept to respond to the lawsuit.
Delta did not show up to defend itself, so on June 12 he won a default judgment. When a legal analyst from the airline called him two weeks later to negotiate a payment, he declined an offer of frequent-flier miles ("Confederate currency," in his words) and made a counteroffer: If you pay me within two weeks, I'll knock $100 off. Delta agreed but asked for a confidentiality agreement. Berns said they couldn't have both, and Delta took the discount. (A Delta spokesperson did not respond to repeated requests for comment.)
Though Berns is a lawyer, anyone could do this (in small claims court – never try this in a real court), and perhaps win. It's pretty damned easy to get a judgment when the other side is too disorganized to show. If not, our hypothetical anyone could at least make the sorts of companies that take our money, then invent bogus "weather cancellations" or the like to cover for the fact they're overselling flights, pay through the nose, so long as one has the will to do what is right, no matter the inconvenience, for the sake of simple vengeance.
The ancient Greeks believed that righteous anger is the highest emotion. Mitchell Berns is a Spartan for consumer rights.