If you don’t want your trip or vacation to be derailed by it starting off with hassles and bad moods, you’re definitely in need of some tips for dealing with flight delays. You can plan everything down to the last detail but you can’t control weather conditions, industrial action, engineering/mechanical faults or other actions. With these tips for dealing with flight delays however, you’ll be able to manage any upsets to your plans.
1. Book an Early Flight
One of the easiest tips for dealing with flight delays is to avoid them altogether. Fewer delays and cancellations occur on early morning flights than those flying later in the day or at night. By booking any early flight, you will also have plenty of time to book another, and more alternative options if your flight is, in fact, delayed. Show up early for your early flight, so you’ll be the first to know if it’s been delayed or cancelled, then you can queue up at customer service and have a better chance of getting on another flight.
2. Keep Your Mobile Phone Handy
If your flight is delayed or cancelled, you’ll need your mobile handy to phone your friends, family or whomever might be awaiting your arrival. You’ll also likely need to call the hotel or other accommodations and let them know of your later arrival time, or to alter your booking. It will come in handy too if you booked your flight through a third-party. This way, you can call or email this party ASAP and find out what the procedure is for being refunded a cancelled flight.
3. Get Your Money’s Worth
Perhaps your airline overbooked the flight, or perhaps a blizzard is preventing air travel – whatever the case, if you’ve bought and paid for a flight which is either delayed several hours or cancelled altogether, then it’s important that you get your money’s worth. What does the airline promise its customers? Find out and demand they fulfill their promise. Whether it be alternative transportation, vouchers for all food and drink items, or even hotel expenses – the airline owes you for your patience.
4. Pony up the Extra $$ for Insurance
Whatever travel trouble you face, being insured will allow you to solve the issue much easier. The unexpected does sometimes occur, so the extra cost of travel insurance is worth the investment. Don’t make the common mistake of not getting comprehensive travel insurance. If you pick and choose, you might not be covered for the problem you do run into.
5. Splurge on the Airport Lounge
One of the poshest tips for dealing with travel delays is to treat yourself to the airport lounge. Although business class and airline loyalty fliers have free access to the VIP room, they are not entirely exclusive to VIPs in some cases. For around $50/£20, you too can gain access, sink into a comfy sofa, eat all the salty snacks you can stash in your purse, and relax until your new flight-time. In some cases, the fee is less than what you might spend on airport food and drink all day long.
6. Adventure at the Airport
If you’re bored of sitting and waiting, have an adventure at the airport. Navigate the gates, stop in all the stores, people-watch, drop some cash at duty-free... whatever Now that you have a few hours, you can sample all the samples and spray all the sprays you want. You might even want to stock up on some duty-free digs, souvenirs for all those who are waiting on your arrival.
Believe it or not, but mingling at the airport can be a kick. You may even make some real connections – friends, potential business contacts, simply a sympathetic ear. Whoever you mingle with, you’re likely to bond over the long delay or cancellation, if you’re both in the same boat. Even more practical, if you strike up a conversation with someone, perhaps you can split the cost of a cab or even a hotel. You should also consider mingling with airport staff. If you’re pleasant to customer service or the young kid who sweeps the floors, they’ll be more likely to help you or offer you the inside scoop on the airport.
I know that flight delays can try the patience of a saint. The next time your flight is cancelled or held up, try some of these tips for dealing with travel delays and you’ll remain cool and calm. What’s the longest delay you’ve ever endured?