Having a delayed or cancelled flight as a traveller is the worse! It causes stress, time delays and often it also causes you to spend extra money!
Whether you have arrived at the airport to realise your flight has been delayed or cancelled, or your flight has been delayed or cancelled before you have arrived at the airport, here are some things to think about as soon as it happens to help lessen the stress and to help you save your precious time and money.
What to do when your flight gets cancelled or delayed!
1 – Know Your Rights!
When your flight is cancelled or delayed you are often entitled to compensation! The best way to know your rights and work out what compensation you are entitled to is to look on Flightright and look up the EU regulation.
Flightright is a company with a mission to help air passengers enforce their rights and they have been doing this for over 10 years! Flightright ensures that you know your rights by providing honest and practical information on their website and they help you enforce your rights without stress or cost risk.
For example, if your flight is cancelled did you know that you could get your ticket refunded or get a replacement flight? You can get compensation if the airline informed you 14 days or less before the flight was scheduled to depart and the compensation amount is between €250 and €600.
If you’re not sure of your rights, check out Flightright now to find out!
2 – Cancel / Update Your Accommodation.
If you were arriving late at night in your destination or you know your flight has been delayed for a long time and you will no longer make it to your accommodation for the night you have booked, see if you can cancel the night’s accommodation for free.
Often hotels, especially on Booking.com, will offer cancellation until midnight the day on or before you arrive. This way you won’t pay for a hotel room that you will not end up using!
On this note, if you told your accommodation you would arrive in the afternoon but you now won’t arrive until later, you should try and get in contact with them so they know and don’t think that you are not arriving.
I’ve found that not all hotels and hostels have a 24-hour reception so if you are now due to arrive late at night or in the early hours of the morning, you should tell them and ask them how you can check-in now your flight has been delayed and your travel plans have changed.
3 – Inform Your Connecting Flight.
If you were due to have a connecting flight you will be faced with more issues. Generally, if the connecting flight is with the same airline or they are in association with each other they will help you get the next available flight. If it’s not you could have to rebook a flight. The best thing to do is to contact the airline as soon as you can and ask them what you should do.
4 – Tell Your Transport.
If you were due to have an arranged pick up at the airport, make sure you tell them as well so they know not to arrive and what is the right time to arrive. Giving them your new flight number will help as they can track the flight and your correct arrival time.
5 – Look for Alternative Ways.
Sometimes getting a flight is the only way, but if your flight has been cancelled, researching alternative ways of doing your journey is a good idea, can you get a train or a bus?
It will take longer and this may be why you didn’t do this option initially but if your flight is delayed or cancelled, it may be a good option now.
6 – Look for Somewhere to Sleep.
When you are sleep deprived everything is much harder. These days many airports have sleeping pods in them and they are worth the price if it means you can get some sleep instead of staying awake and waiting in the airport, or trying to sleep on a bench in the airport.
Airport Hotels can be expensive but they may have some last-minute deals on so be sure to check online for prices. I’d recommend looking on Booking.com for Airport Hotels.
7 – Is Lounge Access Available?
If your flight has been delayed and you are already in departures and you now have a long wait, I suggest looking to see how much the lounge is and how good it is.
You may feel that it is an extra cost and too expensive but prices can vary around the world and in the lounge you will have all your food and drink included. In fact, you can eat and drink as much as you want.
Food and Drink in airport restaurants is expensive so after you have purchased food in these over the course of the next few hours, you may find that the lounge access cost isn’t that much more expensive! Plus it’s a much nicer environment to wait in!
8 – Don’t Stress and get Angry.
Finally, this is the hardest thing to do but it is the most important.
Having a cancelled or delayed flight is very stressful and it’s easy to get angry at the situation and at the people working at the airport and for the airline, however, by getting stressed and angry you are only aggravating yourself and making the employee’s job much harder.
I find that when I am nice and understanding to people, especially in situations like this, employees are nice to be back and try to do as much as possible to help. Whereas if you are rude and angry with them, they are less inclined to do this.
I hope this helps you think about what you can do and what you should do when your flight is delayed or cancelled!
For more of my travel tips click here!