17 Jan

Your Flight Got Cancelled

How to deal with delayed or cancelled flights


Mother nature. Mechanical problems.  Delayed flight attendants or pilots.  Security issues.  Aircraft management. Air traffic control.  We have heard all of the reasons why our flight was delayed or cancelled.  Now, here is some advice on how to deal with this cruddy situation:

What if my flight is delayed?

  1. Check your reservation online.  Go to your airline’s site, log on and see if they have a status update.
  2. If you have the carrier’s app on your phone, you may get an alert…but go ahead and check to see what the delay is going to be.
  3. Ensure that your delay does not affect things like meetings, hotels, car rentals and other reservations.
    1. Call your hotel right away and let them know your flight is delayed.  If it is further delayed or cancelled, most hotels will allow you to change your reservation or even cancel it in case you do not make it there.
    2. Check with your car rental company or your scheduled ground transportation.
    3. Call your family or your team members at work.
  4. Be patient 

What if my flight is delayed?

  1. Check your flight status online. Airlines are proactive in a lot of instances and rebook you on the next available flight.
    1. If you have given them your cell phone and email, they will reach out and try to give you options
  2. Multi-task: Go online or on your airline’s app and try to rebook there, as you also call the airline. Sometimes you can get to an agent quickly on the phone, but most times it is faster online.
  3. Use Social Media. Tweet your airline and make sure you are following them, so they can direct message you back. You will be amazed at how fast they get with you via Social Media.
  4. Be Patient

Things to consider when your flight is delayed or cancelled

  1. Be patient. When you are chatting with an airline rep, they did not cause the plane to have a mechanical issue or the snow to fall…they are there to help you, so think of them as an ally…and they will help out.
  2. Don’t get frustrated. If a hurricane or ice stops your trip to the beach, remember that they are much stronger than any plane sometimes.

How to be prepared to deal with a delayed or cancelled flgith

  1. Check the weather, starting 24 hours before you leave. Don’t just look at your departure and origin cities, look at what is happening on the route too.
  2. Make sure you pack snacks, a water bottle and plenty of stuff to keep you entertained (books, music, etc)
  3. Check these sites to get a full picture of what is happening across the skies:
    1. Flight Stats has a great place to find out number of flights cancelled or delayed.
    2. The FAA has a good status map that let’s you know airport stats for ground delays or any other action taken by the air traffic controllers.
  4. Bring your chargers and a spare phone/electronics battery.  And your headphones!

TARMAC Delays: Passenger Bill of Rights

Your Rights: if the airline causes the cancelation or delayed

  1. You have the right to a refund if they cause the cancelation and your plans are ruined. They are only liable for the flight.
  2. If you are delayed on the TARMAC, airlines have to ensure that the passengers are well informed, that they have food and water within the first 2 hours, and cannot be on the plane for more than 3 hours for a domestic flight and 4 hours for international.
  3. Ask for more, nicely. Say you are delayed, and they put you on the next flight.  In a nice way, ask for an upgrade, additional meal voucher, or perhaps access to the VIP lounge.  You do not know how far a smile and a compliment will go with someone who has to deal with 100s of angry passengers.

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