6 Things You Should Do When Your Flight Gets Delayed or Canceled
Finding out that flights are delayed or canceled is one of the worst nightmares every traveler can experience. Being in this situation is stressful and expensive. Additionally, it can put you in a bad mood that you can no longer enjoy the entirety of your trip — if ever it’s pushed through.
Fortunately, you can turn things around by knowing what to do when your flight gets delayed or canceled. Being equipped with this information can become the key to keeping stress at bay, gaining compensation from the airline, and still enjoying your trip, even with the hiccups along the way.
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Here are six things you should do once you find out your flight is delayed or canceled:
Reach Out to an Agent
One of the first things you should do if there are changes to your flight is to speak to an agent. Generally, when your flight is canceled or delayed, the agent will rebook you on the next flight available to your destination for free.
However, depending on the reason why the flight was canceled or delayed, finding seats on a new flight is often tricky and may significantly affect your travel plan. This is especially true if the delayed or canceled flight is a connecting flight.
Discuss with the agent what your best options are. Although stressful and inconvenient, do your best to remain calm when talking to the agent. Being rude or blaming the airline will not do any good in situations like these.
Ask For a Refund
Do you know that you’re entitled to compensation whenever your flight is canceled or delayed? Depending on the airline you’re flying with, you can earn up to $700 or €600 in compensation.
Getting a refund from any airline is often a frustrating and time-consuming process, which is why it’s crucial to learn the policies of the airline you’re flying with. For instance, United Airlines flight delay compensation requires a different set of requirements than Delta flight delay compensation. This is the reason why you should always travel with in-depth knowledge about your airline’s flight delay and cancellation policies.
You might have to change your plans once you find out your flight has been canceled or delayed. For example, you might have to stay at a hotel near the airport and pay for meals as you wait for the next available flight.
Document all these expenses to make it easier for you to file for compensations and claims later. Take photos of everything — from the receipts of your accommodation and meals to the departure boards showing the canceled or delayed status of your flight. Don’t forget to take note of the airline agent you speak to, along with the time and date of your conversation.
Ask for Food or Hotel Vouchers From the Airline
While you’re at it, check your credit card provider for passenger protection benefits. Some banks will provide a free hotel room or a taxi ride home for free once your flight is canceled or delayed.
If your flight has been canceled or delayed due to staffing or mechanical issues, you can score vouchers for free meals or accommodation from the airline. This is always a better option than sleeping on a chair at the airport or spending your own money on meals.
Make Your Stay Comfortable
You’ll end up suffering from body pain if you spend hours sitting at the airport waiting for your next flight. And you can forget about getting some sleep if you plan on staying in the airport’s common areas.
If you know you’re going to stay for a while, consider spending time at the airport lounge. This area offers more comfortable seating, free food and drinks, and private bathrooms. If you have elite status with high-end credit cards or airlines, you might even score discounted or complimentary entry into the lounge. If not, you can pay around $100 or less per person to enjoy a more relaxing waiting experience at the airport lounge.
Contact Service Providers Affected by Your Flight Changes
Make sure to notify all of the service providers affected by your flight changes. For example, if you booked a shuttle to your destination, inform them that your flight is canceled or delayed. Most car rental companies will hold your vehicle for up to 24 hours from the scheduled pick-up if there are changes in your flight.
You should call the hotel where you’ve booked your accommodation and reach out to the provider of your tour package (if you paid for one).
Save Your Trip
Canceled or delayed flights can adversely affect your trip, but this shouldn’t stop you from having a fun trip, either on domestic or international travel. Follow all the tips mentioned here, so your next trip will still be one for the books, even if it’s canceled or delayed!
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