Terrible yet very probable- a flight delay is in most people’s future at one point or another. It’s a frustrating way to start or end a trip, however, there’s only so much that you can personally do to control it (please don’t be that person shopping in Duty Free instead of boarding!). You can make the most of the situation though. From letting your contacts on the ground know, to getting compensated for your inconvenience, there’s no need for this setback to continue to affect your life even after you have finally landed.
- Subscribe to Announcements
If you buy your ticket online, the airline will most likely already contact you this way, however, if you are buying through a travel agent, make sure that they give your email as your contact information. That way, if there is a known delay much in advance, you’ll be notified via email. If your flight is late, leave for the airport later to minimize your loitering time at the gate and enjoy those extra few moments at home or your hotel.
- Check Online
Airports now post real time arrival times on their websites so that you can check the status of your flight before you leave for the airport, even if you don’t get an email. If someone is picking you up at the airport, suggest that they do the same so that they don’t spend a small fortune on airport parking.
- Document the Timeline
Every time there is a change to the departure status, document the time and circumstances. This can be useful information for when you try to seek compensation down the road. Even document things like meals that you paid for yourself, along with receipts, as there is a possibility that you could get them refunded.
- Hound the Desk
Those who ask get answers- and the food vouchers. It might seem over the top, but the more pressure airlines get from disgruntled passengers, the better they react. Ask for food vouchers, ask about estimated timelines, and more. You might also be entitled to a hotel room if the delay is substantial.
- Contact Your Destination
Whether you have a shuttle reserved at your destination or someone waiting for you, let them know that you are going to be late. Most airports have free Wi-Fi so you should be able to get the message to them. This might mean that you need extra child care, to contact your boss at work, or even reschedule a business meeting. By doing this you save yourself a lot of work down the road and the way we are looking at it, you probably have time to kill at the moment anyway.
- Try to Stay Patient
We know that it’s a stressful situation and that it can lead to lots of frustration and anger, however don’t let it bother you too much. There’s little you can do at the moment other than wait. Instead of exhausting yourself by getting emotional, try to find a way to relax. Have a coffee, read a book, or just people watch.
- Get in Touch with the Pros
Once you have finally landed at your destination get in touch with a team that has extensive expertise in flight compensation rules and regulations. They are your best bet at getting all that you are entitled to from the airlines, whether those are credits, cash, or an official apology.
Being on a delayed or cancelled flight is never a good time, however, if you follow these 7 steps you are likely to be less affected and annoyed once you arrive at your destination and to get the full compensation for your inconvenience.