Tips to Get You Through a Flight Delay or Cancellation

Savvy air travelers know that, like taxes, the occasional flight delay is inevitable.  But what to do if a flight is canceled altogether, or a delay causes you to miss a connecting departure?

First, of course, you want to look for another flight that will get you to your destination with minimal delay.  Airline representatives may help, if they are not overwhelmed by vast numbers of similarly affected travelers. But consider these alternatives:

  • Rather than standing in line at the counter, you might find it quicker to phone the airline, explain the situation, and ask to be booked on another flight.
  • If you have a good corporate travel department or travel agent, calling them can pay dividends.  Having a professional on your side can be much faster, and less stressful, than trying to deal with the problem yourself.
  • A further option is to go online: if you are traveling with a laptop you can use wireless Internet to go to the airline’s website and book yourself onto another flight, or you might do it from your smart phone.
  • And don’t forget that many airlines now have airport kiosks where you can re-book.

Looking further afield, if the airline you are booked on does not have a suitable flight, is there another airline that does? Your carrier might be willing to endorse your ticket, allowing it to be used on the other airline, though they are not required to do so. Are you close enough to another airport to consider that as an alternative? And if the flight is a relatively short haul, a perfect solution is to book the services of ground transportation provider.

Planning ahead

There are a few precautions you can take to decrease the chances of a canceled flight, or to minimize its effects.

  • Fly early in the day. This lessens the likelihood of being caught up in the ‘ripple’ effect that flight delays can have on later flights. It also gives you more of a choice in alternative flights. If your flight is the last of the day and gets canceled, you are not going to have too many options.
  • Minimize connections. The fewer connections you have, the fewer opportunities there are for missing one.
  • Choose your connecting airport wisely. If you have a choice of routes, connecting through a smaller airport will make it easier to get quickly from your incoming flight to the departure gate. In winter, try to avoid flying via airports that are prone to adverse weather such as snowstorms.
  • Allow plenty of time. Especially if you really, really need to be somewhere on time, give yourself as much time as you can, aiming to arrive early, rather than leaving it to the last minute. Choose connections that give you plenty of time to change planes in the event that your first-leg flight is delayed.
  • Don’t check baggage. If you are not traveling with checked baggage, you have more flexibility to change plans. Once you have checked a bag, it is very hard to get it back out of the system and it will make its own way to your stated destination, delays and all, no matter what quicker alternatives you find for your own travel.

Flight delays and cancellations will happen, and if you travel much, you will encounter them. Be aware of the options you have at your disposal, and you will be better able to handle the challenges efficiently and with minimal stress.

Always consider MTC Limousine a dependable partner.

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Posted on May 03 2016

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