Flight delays and cancellations occur more often than we like, and dealing with such scenarios is a stressful experience for most travelers. It’s much more stressful when unpredicted delays, disruptions, and cancellations occur because of many reasons like a passing thunderstorm, mechanical malfunctions, or a psychopath on the runway.
By knowing how to cope with delays and cancellations at the airport, you will be able to keep yourself busy and make the experience less stressful.
1. Check the Flight Departure Board
The flight departure board gives you a heads up on any possible problems. If you are seeing a number of flights delayed or cancelled that are ahead of yours on the same airline company, be proactive and speak to a representative of the airline to see if they anticipate any problems with your flight. They might be able to tell you that the hubs are very backed up. You can also call the 800 number of the airline. If your flight is delayed, try to find out how long of a delay is expected. This will help you assess how your travel plans will be affected.
Time is of the essence. If your flight is cancelled, get in line as soon as possible for an alternative. While waiting in line, get on the phone and call the airline directly. Usually the airline representative at the call center can rebook you on a flight much faster than having to wait in line to speak to the gate or customer service agents. If you’re dealing with a delayed flight, call anyone who was planning to pick you up at your arrival airport to let them know your flight has been delayed. Also, be sure to load your phone with the airlines toll free phone numbers prior to your scheduled flight.
3. Ask What Your Options Are
It pays to have an outline of alternatives before you arrive to the airport. Most times you won’t need to take advantage of the alternatives, but with cancelled flights, the quicker you can act on those alternatives, you will be one step ahead of everybody else. If you do not want to have your flight re-booked, the airline can refund you the cost of your ticket.
4. Stay Focused
Staying calm and being patient is one of the most important things you can do when there is a delay or cancellation with your flight. You should be mindful that especially in the winter there can be a number of things that can go wrong with flights. Play mind sharpening games in either real life or via mobile app. Games like Sudoku, Chess, Tetris, and Bejeweled.
5. Make Yourself Comfortable
When your flight is delayed, there is often little that you can do but wait. Think of the situation as an opportunity to catch up on some quiet time, remind yourself that getting stressed or panicking won’t change the reality of the situation. Try to take the delay in your stride. Listen to music, read a book, or get something to eat while you wait for your delayed flight. Most importantly, the airport bar is always a good option to kill time while you knock back a few drinks.
Whether it’s a flight delay or cancellation, it’s important to remember that you should be respectful without being concessionary. Be firm without being aggressive. You always have the option to protect yourself from unplanned flight delay and cancellations with travel insurance protection. Happy travels this summer!