During 2018, 18 percent of all domestic flights were delayed and close to 2 percent of flights were canceled.Flight delays and cancellations can often be very frustrating. Read on to learn how to deal with flight delays and cancellations.
As there were over six million flights last year, that means 1,080,000 were delayed. Chances are at some point, you will be on one of these flights.
Flight delays and cancellations are a big headache for travelers. But there are lots of things you can do to make the experience bearable. Read on.
Register for Airport Notifications
Stay in the loop of what’s going on by signing up for alert notifications for your airline.
You’ll get instant alerts about airport delays, cancellations, and flight information. To be safe, download both the official airline app as well as a third-party travel app such as App in the Air.
Also, if someone’s picking you up at the airport when you land, encourage them to get the apps too! That way they’re up to date as well.
Read the Airline’s Policy
Whenever you deal with flight delays and cancellations, make sure you understand your flight delay rights.
Each airline company will have a set policy on how they will deal with delays. If your flight is delayed, find the airline’s policy online. Then you’ll know what you are entitled to and what you can expect.
Typically, airlines don’t compensate passengers for weather-related delays or labor strikes. But if the airline is responsible for your delay, you are due for compensation.
The longer the delay, the more money you can expect. So if the airline provides $50 for delays under two hours, you can expect at least double that for an extended day-long delay.
When there are cancellations, most airlines will offer a refund or will re-book your flight. They may offer other free extras by way of apology. You might get a travel voucher or access to the exclusive lounge.
Invest in Travel Insurance
Travel insurance can smooth out any unexpected hiccups during your travels.
Insurance providers offer various packages so that you can choose the one that works best for you. Travel protection means that if your flight is delayed or canceled, your insurance will pay for a hotel, meals and so on.
You may also want medical coverage if you are traveling somewhere exotic. Keep in mind that you need to purchase your travel insurance well before your trip.
One of the worst things about delays is that you are stranded and don’t have access to things you need. Especially if your luggage is on-route to your final destination without you.
Being prepared for anything is one of the best travel tips for families to help you deal with delays. Pack a couple pairs of underwear, socks and a book in your carry-on bag.
Wet wipes, deodorant, and your toothbrush can help make you feel refreshed if you are stuck at the airport overnight. Just make sure to check the airport’s rules on how to pack toiletries.
Airport food can be pricey. And the selection isn’t always good. If you are stuck for an extended period of time you’ll be glad you thought ahead and brought snacks.
A few granola bars, trail mix, crackers, and a refillable water bottle will help make your delay much more manageable.
Remember, you have to empty water bottles before going through security. Then you can fill it up at drinking stations inside the terminal.
Get Away From the Crowd
If you’re not a fan of crowds, being stuck in an airport with hundreds of other delayed passengers can be a nightmare.
The proximity of other people, most of which will be in a bad mood, can make your delay much worse.
For some mental clarity, separate yourself from the crowd. Walk around and explore the airport. It’s good for your mind and also will give your body a break from sitting down doing nothing.
You may even find a nice quiet gate somewhere where you can have some quiet time where you can close your eyes.
Enjoy the Airport Lounges
Most airports have VIP lounges where people who fly first-class can hang out while they wait for their flight.
These lounges are plush and comfortable. There’s snacks, water, comfy chairs in front of a TV and a selection of daily newspapers. And they are never full of people.
If you really need to get away from the masses, this is your best option.
Some lounges are reserved for members. But many will allow you to buy a day access pass. It may be the best $50 you’ll ever spend.
Find out how long the delay will be and how it will affect you. Especially if you have a connecting flight. You may need to re-book your connecting flight if the delay is going to go on for a while.
Also, talk to the airline’s customer service rep about your baggage. Each airline has a procedure on what to do with checked bags when flights are canceled or delayed. Find out what the airline’s policy is.
Asking questions is the best way that you can deal with the current situation. That way you have information on what you can expect and what you need to do.
Remember, being rude to the airline’s reps isn’t going to get you anywhere. They’re just doing their job. As the saying goes, you attract more flies with honey than vinegar.
Be polite in your interactions with customer service reps. You never know, you might just get a food voucher or an upgrade to business class.
Bottom Line on Flight Delays and Cancellations
Flight delays and cancellations are no fun. But if you follow the guidelines in this post, you can survive them with minimal inconvenience.
Oh and don’t forget to wear sensible shoes to the airport. Your feet will thank you if you’re wearing them for an extended amount of time.
Next, check out these family-friendly travel destinations.