Joe Brancatelli has written a brutally incisive explanation of the rights that airline passengers have under the airlines’ contracts of carriage. Anyone who travels by air should read it. And weep.
In short, you have only the rights the airline has agreed to grant you. And those are precious few.
If you travel first class or if you are a very frequent flier with elite privileges, the airline might choose to take care of you when a flight is canceled or delayed for a long period. You might get a hotel room or a meal voucher or a transfer to another airline.
If you are an ordinary coach-class leisure traveler, the airline might very well choose to do nothing for you.
And that’s just how it is.