Let’s face it, dealing with a flight cancellation is never easy.
Whether your travel plans are completely destroyed by a sudden storm that makes it impossible for your airline to take off, or you’re just held up for a few hours while the staff deal with some technical issues, there’s nothing quite like a travel problem to put a damper on your trip.
The good news is that getting through a flight delay or cancellation doesn’t have to be as stressful as it seems. There are plenty of ways that you can take back control of your travel plans and set yourself up for success by the time you finally reach home. Here are a few tips that might be able to help.
- Don’t Check Your Bags
If you’re heading away for a particularly long vacation, then you might not have a choice when it comes to checking your luggage. After all, you can only carry so much in your backpack. However, if you can manage it, neglecting to check your bags can put you in a much better situation when flight cancellations and delays take place. If you’re travelling light and you let the experts at the gate know that you’re happy to run across the terminal at a moment’s notice, you’ll be more likely to be the first person on a new flight.
Some airline reps will try to avoid a complex workaround for someone who has checked bags to worry about, as no-one wants to risk you ending up at your destination just to find that your bags are flying to another city.
- Be Tech Savvy
Although it’s nice to unplug sometimes when you’re heading away on a family vacation, don’t be afraid to get the tech back out when things go wrong. No matter the reason why you’re grounded, or unable to take your flight, the best thing you can do is get online and start planning your strategy to get home. With your smartphone at the ready, you can contact the airline’s customer support team on social media without having to worry about waiting in a long line.
You can also use the time you spend online to look for alternative flights that you can take to get you home faster. Just let your rep know that you’ve found a place and find out whether they can get your details swapped over.
- Know Your Rights
Speaking of spending time on the net, while you’re looking for solutions to your flight problems, you might as well learn as much as you can about the compensation situation that the airline has in place. Knowing your rights will ensure that you can put things in motion to get the money you deserve back in your pocket when you arrive home. Additionally, doing your research around compensation should help you to keep track of the information you’re going to need to present your case later.
If you can’t find any information about the airline’s policies on their website, try connecting with an agent and finding out as much as you can from them. Remember to make a note of the names of the people you speak with.
- Set Yourself Up for Success
While you can’t always know for certain which airline is going to be problematic, and which is going to get you to your destination as quickly as possible, you can always do your research and find out if any organisations have specific problems with flight delays and cancellations. This could help you to avoid a company with a bad reputation.
At the same time, it’s worth avoiding connecting flights if at all possible. Although you can save some serious cash by choosing a connecting flight, it might not be worth it in the long-term if it takes you forever to get home. One cancelled flight could mean that you miss the flight that’s booked afterwards too.
- Keep Track of Everything
Finally, when you’re having a bad experience with your travel plans, one of the best things you can do is write down as much information as possible. Keeping a note of everything – from the people you speak to, to the things they tell you to do, ensures that you have the best chance of getting the right compensation when you arrive home.
Remember to keep the receipts for anything that you buy during your delay too – such as a sandwich to feed yourself while you’re waiting for your next flight.