Travel is a fun and interesting experience for people around the globe – but it isn’t always completely predictable. While you can plan ahead with ideas of what your itinerary will look like, and even choose your preferred travel times when booking your plane, there’s never a guarantee that everything will go as you expect.
The more people continue to use airports as a method of exploring the world, the more common delays and cancellations become. After all, congestion can lead to a host of problems that leave some airlines backed up for days! When you add in issues like storms, political uncertainty, and mechanical malfunctions, you end up with a huge selection of things that could disrupt your journey.
1. Be the First to Know When a Flight is Cancelled
Every minute counts when it comes to dealing with flight delays. The faster you come to terms with your situation, the quicker you can be on the phone to your travel company of choice, searching for an alternative way to reach your destination. With that in mind, it’s worth downloading applications on your smartphone and setting up alerts that will keep you informed about what’s happening with your airline.
Many modern airline websites allow passengers to sign up for a free account that will provide guidance and information on trip alterations. However, it’s worth noting that sometimes third-party apps can be faster and more effective than the airlines themselves. Make sure that you consider all your options before deciding.
2. Know What You Can Get from Your Airline
Getting a refund or compensation in the United States is much harder than getting money back in Europe or the UK. It’s worth noting that in many circumstances, if you’re flying inside of the US, then you’re not going to get anything back from the airline if something goes wrong. However, this isn’t the case if you’re removed from an airline involuntarily.
In many states, airlines will often over-book their flights to make sure that they still have a full vehicle when some people don’t turn up on time. However, in the occasion where everyone arrives for their flight on time, this means that the airline needs to start kicking people off the plane. While some companies will offer you freebies to give up your seat, if no-one volunteers for removal, someone will have to be switched to another flight against their will. This opens the door for compensation.
3. Know Whether You Want to be Refunded, or Rebooked
Depending on the circumstances in question, and the airline that you eventually choose to fly with, there’s a good chance that you’ll have a choice between either being “rebooked” on an alternative flight or given your money back, so you can make your own way home. What you decide to do in this situation is up to you, but it’s worth noting that being re-booked often means you’ll get to your destination faster.
Keep in mind that you can always offer to help the airline out with the rebooking process if you have nothing else to do. Grab your smartphone and browse online for information about connecting flights from your location that will take you to your chosen location. Remember that these flights don’t necessarily need to be with your original airline. Some companies will be happy to get you booked with a different organization altogether provided that the seat prices are basically the same.
4. Make the Most of your Extra Time
Finally, if you’ve done your research, called the airline and made sure that you know everything that there is to know about your traveler rights, then the last thing you need to do is calm down, and give yourself some time to relax. Although dealing with delays and cancellations can be stressful, it’s important not to let your emotions get the best of you in this difficult time. Not only can excess stress make your experience worse, but it can also mean that you’re more likely to get into arguments with service representatives and lose your chance of a seat on another flight.
Instead of getting into arguments, do everything you can, then sit down and take a load off for a little while. Catch up with your emails or get in touch with people you were planning on meeting on the other side of your trip. This should at least help you to keep on top of the problem, rather than being overwhelmed by it.