When you fly, there are bound to be delays. Inclement weather, mechanical issues, and other unexpected circumstances can turn a routine trip to the airport into a drawn-out event that impacts not only you but thousands of travelers throughout the world. When your flight is delayed or canceled, it might not seem like there are a lot of options available to you; so that is why we at Flyavel have decided to write this guide about how to deal with a flight cancellation.
Read up on Rights and Policies
Passengers have rights. It doesn’t matter where you are from or where you are going. Never book a flight without knowing what rights you have. For American passenger rights
, you can check the US Department of Transportation’s website for all the essential information. For UK residents, the Civil Aviation Authority
outlines your rights. Lastly, EU residents passenger rights
vary depending on whether they are taking air, rail, bus, or ship.
Those rights will also interplay with the policies that are available on the airline’s website. Every company has its own rules regarding flight cancellations and overbooking, including restrictions placed on the ticket you hold. Be sure you know the policy.
Sign up for Airline Flight Status Notifications
Most airlines, regardless of where you are, allow passengers to sign up for notifications via flight number. Some airports also have free apps you can download to access flight status information. Take advantage of these services, because you will always know where your flight is and what’s happening.
Learn the Statistics
Some airlines have more trouble than others. If you are concerned about being delayed because of airline problems rather than weather, learn which airlines carry the most risk. For example, the DOT publishes an Air Travel Consumer Report
that includes a breakdown of the causes for delays for each carrier per month. This way, you can make an educated airline choice.
Stay Up-To-Date on Weather
Though staying ahead of the weather is something that takes some planning, the more you know about when and where you are going, the better you can figure out the ideal time to fly. If it looks like flights are getting delayed because of catastrophic weather, don’t hesitate to call the airline and start asking about potential delays and how your flight is affected. Depending on the airline, you might be able to come to a compromise about getting the day or time switched.
If you have travel insurance, it is now time to see what kind of things are covered and what kind of papers you need to get something out of the loss. Not all airlines will agree to give you another ticket or reimburse you for the inconvenience they caused, but you might be able to find another way to make everyone happy. This could include taking an alternate route, going on different day, or getting your money back.
For those traveling in the EU, check out the offerings of EUClaim,
an established defender of traveler rights in Europe. With them, you can get some recompense according to EU regulations.
Flight delays and cancellations are unnecessarily stressful. Adopt a Zen-like attitude and realize that, not only do you have rights, you also have a choice to how you react. You will get to your destination. It might take longer than you expected, but if you exercise your passenger rights and insurance accordingly, you will be able to make the best of a tough scenario.