All travelers are at the mercy of raging thunderstorms and mechanical difficulties. If you find yourself in a delay or flight cancelled situation, here are a few tips that might help you out.
- You need to advise others that might be affected by your flight cancellation. Was someone meeting you at your destination airport? Do you have hotel reservations that will now need to be changed / cancelled? Do you need to check in with work? Even if your cell phone isn’t working, find a payphone and make all the necessary calls to let everyone know that you will be late.
- Try to arrange your travel plans so that you aren’t traveling through bad weather seasons, major holidays etc. Remember this rule of thumb – the bigger the airport, the slower the process of arrival and departure and the bigger chance that you will be stuck there.
Above All – Stay Calm
- You’ve probably seen irate passengers screaming at some defenseless airline agent over a cancelled flight or weather delay. If you feel your anger mounting, take a deep breath and a short walk – the last thing you need is to lose your temper. I always find you get much further with a patient attitude, a friendly smile and keeping the situation in perspective. Remember that the airline employee wants to get you flying just as much as you do.
Know Your Rights
- Check your e-ticket confirmation to find your airline’s Contract of Carriage, which is a promise the airline makes to its customers, outlining your rights, including what happens in the event of a canceled flight or missed connection.
- Airlines do want to keep their passengers happy, so most will offer rebooking on next available flight, phone cards, and meal vouches for lengthy delays. Only in extreme cases will lodging be covered. If you know your rights, it will make your negotiating with the airline a lot easier.
When Life Gives You Lemons – Make Lemonade
- So, you’re stuck at the airport for an undetermined amount of time – it’s time to make the best of the situation. There’s nothing like a little personal indulgence to make you forget your inconveniences. Other ideas are a drink at a swanky hotel bar, a movie, buying a trashy novel, playing arcade games and shopping at the airport shops. Treat yourself! After a stressful day – no one deserves it more!