Travel Tips

5 Tips If Your Flight Is Cancelled

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US Air Customer Service LInes1. Call customer service immediately

And, if you’re in the airport, RUN to the customer service desk. Time is of the essence. They’re trying to rebook people as quickly as possible, and the longer you wait the fewer available seats. You don’t know whether you’ll get an agent on the phone
or move through line first, which is why you want to do both.

Note: If you have lounge access, head there instead of the customer service desk, the lines are often much shorter.

2. Decide Ahead of Time What You Wanthttp://routemap.staralliance.com/

Would you rather get on the first flight out even if means extra connections?
Are you willing to wait several days?
Can you fly into a nearby airport?
Do you want to declare it a Trip in Vain and reschedule for different dates?
Figure out in advance what you’d be willing to accept so there’s no delay on your end when the agent starts giving you options. If you’re traveling with others, decide if you’re willing to split up to get better flights.

3. Do Your Homeworkdelayed flights

If you have internet access or can contact someone who does, start investigating all your flight options on any carrier. The airlines will try first to find you space on their own flights, or those of their partners, but in a pinch, they’ll sometimes put you on any open flight even if it’s out of network. Having a list of flight numbers that work best for you can often help focus their search. “I see there’s a 10PM flight to Phoenix that connects to Flight 178…”

4. Be Nice to the Agents!

They didn’t create the weather, sabotage the plane, or call for the ground stop. If it was up to them, they’d probably put you on a non-stop flight in first class to get you on your way. No matter how stressed you are, don’t raise your voice and don’t get angry. Perhaps even try to smile! There’s only so much they can do, but taking out your frustration on them is not going to inspire them to try harder on your behalf.

5.  Check the Cancellation Policy on Any Trip Reservations

The grace period for for cancelling a car rental, hotel, or other reservation varies, and sometimes 15 minutes can be the difference between getting your money back and having to eat the cost. For instance, if your flight is cancelled at 5:45PM, you may still have time to hit the 6PM deadline for cancelling your hotel that night.

See more tips for cancelled or delayed flights…

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: 5 Tips If Your Flight Is Cancelled | Globe Trotting Winos Guide to Frugal Travel

  2. Susie S

    September 29, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Nice suggestions! You’re especially right about being nice to the agents. It’s hard to keep a straight head when you’re stuck at the airport but a little psychology can take you a long way.

    One thing that you could also think about is that if you’re flying in or out of Europe and your flight is delayed/canceled you can claim compensation from the airline (https://www.refund.me/en/flight-delay/). Up to $800 or something like that – it’s worth remembering. It can be a bit of a hassle getting airlines to pay but once they do it really does make up for the inconvenience.

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