How to effectively handle flight delays or cancellations
flight delays and cancellations
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Few things suck as much as a flight delays or cancellation. It’s especially bad if you’ve been planning a trip for weeks or months!

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about the dreaded flight delays and cancellations. If the decision has been made to delay or cancel a flight, no amount of yelling or screaming from any passenger will help. However, there are a few ways to deal with this dilemma. 

First, if you have connecting flights, check to see if your planned schedule is still going to work. If it doesn’t, make sure the airline knows. They should offer alternative flights or help you rebook so that you can make the rest of your journey.

SERIOUSLY HELPFUL TIP! Always be polite to airline employees. Keep in mind, they are not the ones delaying or canceling your flight, yet they are at the receiving end of many disgruntled passengers. Be understanding and remember that they can choose to help you or not. If you’re nice, they’re more likely to help!

What to do about flight delays and cancellations

If possible, check-in online

Most airlines have apps that allow you to check in online hours before your flight. Do so because once you are checked in, you can get flight status updates before you’ve even left for the airport. However, some airlines are very strict about sticking to your check-in time. If you know your flight is delayed, check to see what time you need to be at the airport.

Call your airline

If your flight has been canceled, there’s going to be a long line of people trying to rebook. If you can somehow make it to the front of that line, great. If not, call the airline while you are standing in line. Chances are good that you can get someone to help you on the phone before you even make it to the front of the line.

Entertain yourself

Once you are able to rebook, you’re probably going to have a wait a while. Here are a few options on what you can do to pass the time:

Go window shopping – There are lots of shops at the airport. They’re over-priced most of the time, but you can window shop.

Check out the bookshops – All airports have bookshops or magazine shops. This can be quite entertaining.

Walk around – Explore the airport. Once you finally get on that flight, you’re going to be sitting for a long time. Why spend your waiting time sitting.

Catch up on work or social media – Getting WiFi at the airport is usually not a problem. Why not take advantage of that and catch up on your emails or work. Otherwise, see what friends are doing on social media.

Grab a meal – The airports offer lots of different kinds of restaurants. Restaurant food is usually better than airplane food (if they give you food), so it might be a good option.

Ask for a lounge pass

Who wants to sit and wait at the gate terminal if you can wait in one of the airport lounges.

If your flight has been delayed, politely ask your airline for a lounge pass. In the lounges, they often have food and drinks, comfortable seats, and free WiFi.

If possible, use carry-on luggage only

If your flight has been canceled, it is very annoying to wait for your checked baggage to be returned to you, especially if you’re rushing to grab another flight. This can be avoided if you have carry-on luggage only.   

If possible, don’t plan activities for your arrival day

If you have planned or even paid for an activity, you’re going to be a little stressed out, wondering if you will make it in time. Avoid the hassle and leave your arrival day free of any booked activities or tours. 

Also, consider that even if there is no delay or cancellation, you might be jet-lagged. 

Check your travel insurance

If you have travel insurance, check your policy for delayed or canceled flights. Your policy may cover the cost of meals and booking into a hotel.

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About The Author

Hi! We’re the Cheltens’. We visit South Africa 1-2 times per year. We want to share our experiences with you so that you may make educated decisions when you plan your next trip to the rainbow nation.

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