How to deal with delayed or cancelled flights
What a year it has been! A shortage of pilots and crews…compounded by the fact that everyone wants to travel…delayed flights or cancelations maybe inevitable.
Here is some expert advice from the pros!
What if my flight is delayed?
- Check your reservation online or on your airlines app. You probably got an alert or a text message…check to see how long the delay is and start thinking of your options.
- If you have a connecting flight…see if you will make the layover. If not, try to rearrange your flight…most of the time you will be able to do it on the app. If not, do what the experts do…call your airline on the phone and get in line at the nearest check in desk or gate. Either a reservation agent will pick up the phone or you will get to a RL agent. You better your chance to reacomodate yourself in two queues.
- Ensure that your delay does not affect things like meetings, hotels, car rentals and other reservations.
- 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.
- Check with your car rental company or your scheduled ground transportation.
- Call your family or your team members at work.
- Be patient
What if my flight is cancelled?
- Focus on getting “reacomodated”. Get to an agent PDQ – call the airline on your cell, and stand in line for the next agent.
- If your airline has a chat feature on their app – see if you can get an agent.
- Most airlines will give you an option to rebook yourself on the app…see if that works with your plans.
- If the flight you are reacomodated is several hours later, ask for the following
- Meal voucher
- Hotel – if overnight
- Transportation to the hotel
Things to consider when your flight is delayed or cancelled
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Make sure you pack snacks, a water bottle and plenty of stuff to keep you entertained (books, music, etc)
- Check these sites to get a full picture of what is happening across the skies:
- 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
- You have the right to a refund if they cause the cancelation and your plans are ruined. They are only liable for the flight.
- 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.
- 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.