No matter where you're going or who you're going with, it's worth noting that a lengthy flight delay can be a frustrating, overwhelming, and even expensive experience for any traveler. Although there's not always something that you can do to stop a cancellation or delay from happening, there are things that you can do to make your situation a little better if you do end up with a delay.
The following tips will help you to figure out how you can deal with a delayed flight more proactively, from the steps you take before you go to the airport, to what you should do to avoid delays in the first place.
Before You Go to the Airport
Before you visit the airport, you should add your details to your booking information and download any apps offered by the airline, so you'll receive instant notifications if your flight is delayed. Check-in for the time that's scheduled on your departure information, and remember that you should be as early as possible to avoid problems with your onboarding process.
It's worth noting that early morning flights are typically more reliable than those throughout the day because many aircrafts will simply overnight at the airport where they're starting their journey. Additionally, the delays that are caused by weather can have a ripple effect which amplifies throughout the day.
Packing and Preparing
Remember, if you can travel without a suitcase this is often a good idea, as it means that you won't have to worry about where your luggage ends up if you get delayed. Pack any essentials in your hand luggage regardless of whether you're taking extra bags because you won't be able to access hold luggage after it's been checked in.
If you're worried about a diversion, it might be helpful to have your phone charger and toiletries on hand. Additionally, you could consider accessing a pay-to-use lounge provided by the airline or airport so that you have some comfort if things are delayed. The agents in lounges are often faster at sorting out problems for their passengers too because they're dealing with fewer customers in an emergency.
Speaking to Your Airline
If your flight is delayed or canceled, then you'll need to speak to your airline about what you have to do next. You can contact them in person, by speaking to an agent at the airport, or you can talk to someone over the phone or through social media.
The important thing to remember here is that no matter how stressed or frustrated you might feel, you'll need to stay calm and be kind to the airline staff if you want the best chance of getting the help you need. Sometimes, if you start shouting and screaming at the agents then they'll have the right to simply cut you off and refuse to help you. That means that you don't arrive at your destination any faster.
Don't Leave the Airport
Unless you've been given a free hotel room by the airline and told that you're not going to get onto a flight until the next day, then it's a good idea to avoid leaving the airport during a delay. While a nearby attraction or meal might seem like a good way to spend your extra time, you want to be close at hand in case your airline gets in touch and tells you that you can get on an earlier flight.
If you're concerned about leaving the airport at all, you can always make the most of browsing the stores and restaurants that are available at the airport itself. On the other hand, if you have lounge access, you'll be able to tuck into some comfortable chairs, so you can rest and relax before you begin your trip.
Checking Your Insurance
Finally, if you're stuck at the airport for an extended period of time, then there's a good chance that you'll want to find a way to get the compensation you deserve as quickly as possible. Before you start searching for solutions online, you could always check and find out whether your travel insurance can cover the expenses that you incur on a long delay.
If you don't have travel insurance or your insurance doesn't cover you for the kind of delay you're facing, then you'll need to look on the airline websites to find out more about what kind of compensation and support you could be entitled to. Even if you can't get cold hard cash, a free meal or accommodation might be in order.
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