Although traveling around the world can be a wonderful experience, it’s not without its problems. After all, planes, just like any other form of transportation, can end up facing a range of issues, from mechanical problems to sudden delays caused by weather changes.
Ultimately, the more you fly, the more likely it is that you’ll end up having at least one of your flights delayed or canceled. While a canceled flight can seriously put a damper on your travel plans, it’s important to remember that there are things you can do to regain control of the situation and get back on track for your trip.
Although the following tips won’t stop you from encountering the occasional cancellation, they will mean that you’re prepared when the worst happens.
1. Plan Before You Fly
When it comes to many things in life, proper planning and strategy can be the key to success. If you’re reading this before you take to the skies, then it’s a good idea to reduce your risk of a canceled flight as much as possible by preparing for the worst with plenty of time to spare. For instance, make sure that you check the status of your airport before you leave home, and try to avoid booking any travel during heavy storms.
If you’re worried that a cancellation could damage your plans of a switch-over, then make sure you fly direct instead of skipping from one plane to another. This will ensure that even if one of your flights is delayed, you should be able to eventually get to your destination.
2. Make Sure You Pack Light
Leaving your suitcase at home won’t necessarily stop your airline from canceling your flight, but it should mean that you have the agility to quickly move onto a different plane as soon as a new seat becomes available. Remember, rebooking your flight and getting hold of your luggage will be much harder if you’ve already checked some baggage.
Where possible, try to stuff everything you need into a single carry-on bag that you can keep with you before you go on your journey. Remember, investigate the details that your airline provides about how much carry-on luggage you can reasonably have. This will help you figure out how to pack accordingly.
3. Claim Compensation When Possible
Although it’s generally more difficult to get compensation for a canceled flight in the United States than it is elsewhere in the world (like the UK and Europe), there are circumstances available that will allow you to claim money back from your airline of choice.
For example, when you’re removed from a flight involuntarily because the company books too many passengers for the number of seats they have on the aircraft, you will have the right to at least some compensation. However, if your flight is canceled for a reason beyond the airline’s control, then it’s harder to argue that you deserve compensation.
The best way to find out what your options are is to look at the terms and conditions provided by your airline website. Or, you can always speak to a customer service rep if you have chance on the phone, or via social media.
4. Contact the Airline Immediately
No matter how stressed or confused you might feel after your flight has been canceled, it’s important to drop everything into your schedule and call the airline as quickly as possible. Don’t just get in line to talk to someone at the airport – no matter what someone else might tell you. Instead, pick up your phone and find out more about what’s going to happen to you, and your trip.
Calling the airline means that you automatically skip the line of people waiting to re-book their journey in the airport already. Although you may still have to wait for a short amount of time, you should find a solution much faster this way.
5. Stay Calm and Collected
Finally, no matter how upset you might feel about your flight situation, it’s important to keep your head on straight. Over-reacting to a flight cancellation won’t get you anywhere faster. Instead, the more you shout and scream at representatives in the airport, the more likely you are to get pushed further back in the line when they’re looking for ways to help distressed customers.
If you’re concerned that you might start to throw a tantrum, take a moment to one side and calm down for a few seconds. Remember that the people you’re dealing with right now probably didn’t cause your flight to be canceled, or delayed in the first place, so losing your temper with them won’t help.