What do you do when you get that dreaded alert on your phone or when your listing on the board of departing flights turns red? This week Kim and Tamara give their past tips as road warriors for what to do when your flight is delayed or cancelled, including how to be prepared for the inevitable.
ON THE PODCAST
00:30 – Talking with Kim and Tamara
01:10 – Planning ahead
08:05 – Flight apps
12:10 – Tips for a delayed flights
21:52 – Connection issues
28:50 – Airport hotels
32:35 – Rental car
33:58 – Cancellation issues
40:03 – Coming up next/safe travel wishes
TIPS FOR FLIGHT DELAYS AND CANCELATIONS
- When picking your flights when you are going on a cruise or even a train ride that have set boarding times, you should really think about giving yourself a good buffer in case you have any issues getting there. For example, if you book a flight that has an arrival time of 12pm and you have a boarding time for your cruise at 3pm, that only really gives you under three hours to get all of your luggage, get a taxi or car to the port than unload all of your luggage and board the ship. If you have even just one hour delay on your flight that can cause a lot of issues and unnecessary stress before you take a vacation. Imagine how you would feel if your flight ended up getting canceled!
- It is recommended that you book an overnight stay in the place that you are shipping out from so that you will just need to worry about getting to the port for boarding.
- Looking into flights that are nonstop can also help out with delay issues since you don’t have to worry about catching connector flights.
- When you are going on a flight make sure that you download the airline app and are logged in before you even get to the airport. If you haven’t logged in in a long time you might not remember your password and you have to reset. Doing this at the last minute might cause you some aggravation if you can’t just get right on when you need it at the airport. You should also look for the text notification options and sign up for that so that you will get notified of any delays right to your phone.
- If your flight gets delayed you should think about heading to a lounge. Lounges are more accessible then they used to be. If you have certain credit cards they can give you access to certain lounges. You can also sometimes pay for a day pass. If that is your plan for if you have a long delay, as soon as you find out if your flight is delayed you should head right there to beat the possible crowd that will try to get in.
- There is always the chance that your flight will get rerouted due to weather or other issues. In a situation like that, you really need to stay calm and think about what your next step is.
- Make sure to check your gates when you have connecting flights. Even if you checked before you boarded your first flight they do tend to change. This will help for when you get off of the plane, you will already know where you will need to go. You should also look to see a map of the airline that you are flying into so that you know which way you are turning as soon as you walk out. Depending on the airport there is usually a map in the back of the flight magazine! Otherwise you may be able to find a map on the app or airline site if you are able to get on it before they open the doors.
- If you need to book an airport hotel due to cancelations, you might want to look for places that offer airport shuttles so that you can avoid having to pay for and wait for a taxi as well as a place that offers free breakfast. Especially if you have a morning flight, you might want to be able to grab something quickly.
- You should also make sure that the shuttle is 24 hours so that if you have a really early flight or a late arrival you will still be able to get the shuttle and not have to pay for a ride to and from. You may also want to call the hotel that you booked and let them know when you would be getting there. You don’t want to be arriving really late and have them mark you as a no show and give away your room.
- Make sure you have easy access to all your travel information including the name of the hotel you booked, the times for your arrival and departure, your gate numbers, and your flight number.
- Check with your rental car company if you are arriving late to let them know that your flight was delayed and when you would be possibly arriving. You should also find out how late the desk is open. You don’t want to assume the desk is open 24 hours and have your flight arrive really late and no one is there to give you your car.
- If you have certain membership plans with the car rental company you may not even need to let them know that you will be late because they will hold it for you for so many hours after your booked pick up time. You should also make sure that you get the name of the person you talked to and note the time that you called in case there is any issue when you get there. This way you can tell them who you spoke to and what they said.
- If your flight gets canceled, depending on the type of ticket that you booked you could be pushed to the bottom of the list and end up waiting days to get booked on a new flight. You should try to call or go to a desk to rebook your flight as soon as you can, to see what they can do, even to see if they can get you on a flight to a different location that may be in the same direction but a different airport, so that you are at least getting somewhere quicker.
- While waiting in line at the customer service desk, jump on the app or the phone to see if you can get service faster that way. Also tweeting the customer service of airline may help.
- Having travel insurance can really come in handy in these situations, they may not be able to cover everything but it is possible that you can get some coverage for the extra money that you have spent.
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