6 Ways to Cope with an Airline Delay
There are few things that can disrupt your travel plans quite like a huge airport delay. Unfortunately, there are countless things that can cause a flight to be late, from unpredictable weather to airport security problems and technical glitches. Whatever might be keeping you grounded, it’s important to know how you can stay proactive and positive in the event of a delay.
Although the following tips might not stop a delay or cancellation from happening to you in the first place, they could ensure that you feel more confident and prepared if something goes wrong with your upcoming travel itinerary.
1. Keep an Eye on the Weather
One of the biggest reasons why flights get delayed is that they’re impacted by huge storms and weather problems. If you’re flying in winter, it’s important to keep an eye on the forecast to figure out whether your flight is likely to be impacted. For instance, if you’re looking at snow and hail, then it might be worth calling your airline in advance and asking whether there could be a problem with your travel that you should be aware of. While winter storms are more predictable than summer storms, it’s worth being informed either way.
2. Make the Most of your Smartphone
If something does go wrong with your travel experience, then you should be prepared to make the most out of your available technology. For instance, downloading the application offered by your airport or airline could be a great way to make sure that you get instant alerts the moment something goes wrong with your flight. At the same time, an app can give you direct access to an agent so that you can speak to someone online in case of an emergency, rather than speaking to an agent in person who is already likely to be crowded by other unhappy travelers.
3. Know Your Options
If it looks like you’re not going to get to your destination for quite some time, then it’s worth doing your research and finding out if there are any alternative flights going from other airlines, or even nearby airports. Although you obviously don’t want to pay for another ticket on a different flight when you’ve already dished out cash for your current travel option, your airline might be willing to pay for a seat on an alternative flight for you, particularly if they can’t find you a different seat on one of their own planes. However, most agents won’t have the time to search for alternative seats on airlines around the airport for each of their clients. If you can find a seat for yourself, then you might get a resolution much faster.
4. Know Your Rights with Compensation
If your flight is delayed or canceled, then there’s a good chance you’ll want to make sure that you know exactly what you’re entitled to in terms of compensation. Depending on the reason for the flight delay, you might not be entitled to a full refund. After all, it’s worth noting that most airlines can’t be held responsible for delays that are beyond their control, such as those caused by political strife or weather problems. However, even if you can’t get cold hard cash for your troubles, you may be able to access freebies that make your life a little easier while you’re waiting for a new opportunity to come along. For instance, you could get free accommodation or food. Check up with your airline to find out what you can claim while you’re waiting to be moved onto a different flight.
5. Check Your Travel Insurance
While some travel insurance won’t be able to provide you with coverage in case your flight is cancelled or delayed, some policies will provide you with a certain amount of money that you can use to book your own alternative flights or simply access extra commodities when you’re waiting for a resolution to emerge from your airline. Just make sure that before you use the solutions that your insurance offers, you double check that tapping into your insurance won’t prevent you from claiming compensation at a later date.
6. Avoid Lengthy Delays in the First Place
Finally, remember that although you can’t always stop delays from happening, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of a serious delay or cancellation. For instance, early-morning flights are often more dependable than those that go late in the day. Cancellations and delays that happen early can have a ripple effect throughout the day that makes other delays much worse.