When you’re booking a flight, there’s always that feeling in the back of your mind that it could get delayed, and it causes a lot of anxiety on the part of passengers. If your flight is delayed, it can cause you to miss important family events, work meetings, or portions of expensive vacations you’ve paid for, yet it seems like these delays are more common than before. How you can avoid getting your flights delayed the next time you travel. Take at 5 ways to avoid flight delays.
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It’s not that more flights are delayed, but with social media and the intense scrutiny on airlines, it can feel that way. Actually, most airlines have reduced their number of delays pretty significantly, but they still happen and can wreak havoc on the plans of travelers.
From every American Airlines complaint to the United Airlines scandal, airlines just seem to be racking up bad publicity, but are there things you can do as a passenger to shield yourself from the risk of delays?
If you’re in a situation where you have flight delays, it is important to follow certain tips when dealing with the situation. This will help to make the time fly by and get you home safely. Find out what some of these tips are in this article.
5 ways to avoid flight delays
Deal With It Right Away
When you’re dealing with delays, the first thing to remember is to deal effectively. This means not putting off the flight or solution for another day. Yes, you may be frustrated, but if there’s something you can do about it to change the entire outcome of the delay, then go ahead and jump right into it. The longer you put the problem off, the worse it will become.
Fly the Right Airports
Some airports are just worse than others when it comes to delays, and if you can avoid them, you’re going to reduce your risk of being caught by one. The major culprits for big delays are of course the major transit hubs in the country including Newark, LaGuardia, and Chicago Midway.
San Francisco often tends to be problematic because of the frequent fog.
What you might find is that if you’re able to fly into smaller airports or out of them, your delay risk is lower. At the same time, larger jets do tend to take priority when it comes to delays because there are more passengers and delaying more people equals more problems.
Listen To What The Airline Ground Staff Has To Say
Consider talking to the airline’s management, or even the ground crew. While they may not always be able to help you directly, they can give you some pointers on how to deal with your situation. They’ll also let you know if there are other services you can take advantage of along the way if you wish. This can save you quite a bit of money on your vacation if you find yourself in the sticky situation of a travel delay.
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Make Yourself Into a Valued Customer
The people airlines place the most priority on are their elite customers. It might not seem fair, but it’s just reality. When you’re one of the high-level customers of an airline, such as a Delta SkyMiles members with Diamond status, more favorable decisions are likely to be made regarding you. Also, if there’s a flight with a lot of those customers on it, it’s less likely to be delayed than an alternative. These are just some of the incentives you can receive when you accumulate miles from airline tickets.
Now that you’re at this point, perhaps you may be wondering how exactly you can accumulate airline points when you don’t travel that frequently. A sneaky way to get into it is to convert your credit card points into airline miles. You can ask your bank about this, or apply for a credit card that offers this kind of service.
You may be thinking how in the world can I get on a flight with more frequent travelers.
One way is to try and book your flights first thing in the morning. This is when business travelers are usually on flights, and they tend to be the higher status flyers because they do it so often. Of course, morning flights are also beneficial because there are fewer reasons at that point for a flight to be delayed.
If you book the last flight of the night and you’re delayed, you’re probably going to be waiting until the next morning.
Most layovers are so tight and give you such limited time that if your initial flight is delayed even a few minutes you miss your next one. Try to reduce your layovers as much as possible, and take direct flights whenever possible.
Finally, don’t check your bags if possible. This might not help you avoid a delay, but if your flight is delayed or canceled and you’ve checked your bags, it can create even bigger frustrations as you try to find it.
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The best way to deal with a delay when it happens is to keep calm and carry on. Even if you’re unhappy with the delays, remember that you’ll eventually get to your destination. Just think of this as a minor bump along the way. It might take a few extra hours, but eventually, everything will be fine. With these tips, now you also know how to be proactive. Avoiding delays is actually much easier than dealing with them. If you follow these tips, you can be sure that you’ll always be able to travel without any hassle.