15.06.2015 Travel Insurance
‘Cancelled’ is the last word you want to read on an airport monitor but every so often air traffic controller strikes, dangerous weather conditions and mechanical failures cause those 9 letters to flicker on to the screen.
What should you do when your flight is cancelled? Follow these 10 tips to get yourself airborne.
1. Speak to a person
Don't just stand around at the gate waiting for an announcement - go find the airline’s helpdesk. Hurry up to get a good place in the queue.
2. Start dialling
At the airline’s helpdesk, there could bea long queue of people trying to rebook their flight. While you wait in line, get on the phone to the airline’s customer service. You might get through to them quicker than it takes to get to the top of the queue.
3. Get online
Take out your smartphone and log in to your booking on the airline’s website. They might have an automated way for you to rebook online.
4. Be nice
If you don't ask you won't get so speak up but remember to be nice because if the airline’s rep can do you a favour but you are being rude to them, they are unlikely to go out of their way to help you.
5. Check your entitlements
Read the small print of your booking confirmation and ask the airline staff what you are entitled to – can you be reimbursed for meals and a hotel if you can’t get on to another flight today? Some airlines will only reimburse you if agree to be rebooked on to the next available flight.
6. Contact your travel insurance company
If you’re smart you’ll have purchased travel insurance. Call your provider and find out what they will cover – meals, hotels etc.
7. Check Twitter
A lot of people don’t think to check Twitter but this can be the quickest way to get updates on what’s going on. If there are no updates on the airline’s Twitter feed, tweet them and ask for information.
8. Become a VIP
If you have a lot of waiting around to do consider booking in to the airport’s VIP lounge. Not only will you have somewhere comfortable to sit but you might get access to an agent who can help you get rebooked.
9. Get some rest
If you have to wait overnight for your flight it’s worth booking a hotel so that you can get some proper shut eye and a shower to wake you up in the morning. Browse one of the many last minute and discount deal websites for an airport hotel.
10. Get organised
The stress of a cancelled flight can lead to silly mistakes. Take a deep breath, get a hold of your new boarding pass, find out where your new gate number is and learn the new flight time. Be at the gate with plenty of time and get on board.
Next time you fly, be prepared - put a change of clothes in your hand luggage, bring a travel pillow for long waits and make sure you have travel insurance.
Have you ever experienced a flight cancellation? What tips would you give someone who is experiencing this right now?