There are few things more frustrating than a delayed flight.
One of the things that makes flying such an excellent way to travel is that it’s designed to get you to destinations around the world much faster than a car, boat, or train.
However, just because flights are usually a great option for many holiday-makers and travellers, doesn’t mean that they’re without their challenges. Airplanes are made up of very complicated technology, and sometimes that tech doesn’t work exactly as it should. On top of that, there’s always the risk that a change in the weather could make it dangerous for your pilot to take off.
Whatever the reason for your delay, don’t panic – deal with the situation using these tips.
1. Know Your Rights
As a paying customer and a passenger, you do have certain rights. Ultimately, you won’t be able to apply for things like flight delay compensation if the reason for the flight delay was outside of the airline’s control. If it would be dangerous for the flight to take off in the middle of a storm, you can’t complain about the airline protecting your safety.
However, if the flight delay was something that the company could control – like an overbooking issue with the seats, then you do have certain rights. This is particularly true if you’re flying with an airline in Europe, or to or from a European airport. Get online as soon as you find out about your delay and read up on your rights.
2. Deal with Connecting Flights
If this wasn’t the last flight you were going to be taking today, then you’ll need to check out the situation with your connecting flight. Most of the time, the airline you’re with will put you on the next available flight to your destination. However, that could mean that you land after your other plane has already departed.
Check the details and find out whether it’s possible to switch your connecting flight to a later trip if necessary. One of the reasons it’s such a good idea to go direct to your destination is that you won’t have to worry about connecting flight issues if something is delayed.
3. Make Some Calls
It’s a good idea to bring a spare battery and charger with you to the airport – just in case. If you do end up getting delayed, then you’ll have several calls to make. For instance, you’ll want to get in touch with your airline and find out how they’re going to solve the problem you’re having with your current travel itinerary.
You may also need to contact other people too. For instance, is your hotel expecting you to check in at a specific time? Let them know that you’ll be late if you can. Contact your car hire company too, and make sure that you leave messages with friends, family members, and business colleagues who might be waiting for you on the other end of your trip.
If you’re concerned that you might have to wait around overnight, then you might want to try pre-booking a hotel too. Many of today’s hotels won’t charge you until you check in. If you decide you need to use your booking, you can always request compensation from the airline after.
4. Don’t Fall Asleep
It’s easy to fall asleep in an airport when you’ve been sitting in the same space for several hours, wondering what to do. Sometimes, a simple flight delay can end up dragging out over several hours, so it’s important to get up and stretch your legs as often as you can.
Just as flight delays can end up lasting for hours, they can also get suddenly fixed. That means that you can’t afford to fall asleep and miss an important announcement. It’s also not a good idea to leave the airport and start exploring your surroundings unless your flight representative tells you that it’s okay to do so.
5. Keep your Mind Off It
Finally, don’t just sit and wallow in the stress of being delayed. As annoying as it is that you’re going to need to wait longer to get to your destination – being in a terrible mood won’t help anything. Try to find things that you can do to take your mind off the problem instead. For instance, could you explore the airport and find out what kind of shops and other attractions they offer?
Some airlines have some really exciting things to do if you have the time. For instance, in Winter, the Denver International Airport has its own ice-skating rink. If nothing else, you can at least treat yourself to a nice cup of coffee.