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Flight cancellation in first part of journey, no-show in the rest

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Hi all,
I had booked two reservations with Cheapoair for the following journeys:
1. Gainesville to New York (1 stop) - United Airlines
2. New York to India (2 stops) - Gulf Air

The first Gainesville flight was supposed to take off at 9 AM and reach NYC at 2 PM. The second reservation's flight was suppposed to start at 9 PM on the same day and go on. In the morning, the Gainesville flight was canceled due to technical reasons by United Airlines. They got us into a cab to Orlando from which they provided a flight to NYC at 5 PM which was supposed to reach NYC at 7.30 PM.

Since my luggage would need to be checked in again (different reservation), I agreed to this alternative hoping I could still catch the flights in my second reservation. As luck would have it, the flight from Orlando to NYC arrived at 8.00 PM, and when I reached the counters at 8.20 with my luggage, the check in had already closed.

Gulf Air agreed to rebook my journey for the next day but it costs me about $800 for this including the airline change fee and rate changes. Since the delay was due to flight cancellation, I tried calling Cheapoair but they said they couldn't help it, and offered only to rebook (which by the way was $200 more than what the Gulf air representative told me directly, talk about swindling!).

My question is, since the delay was caused due to United Airlines, am I allowed to call them and claim the difference in fees due to their canceled flights? The change fees is expensive as it is, and was just hoping the airlines could settle the difference.

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