Your flight getting cancelled can be a huge inconvenience. Just imagine that you’re on your way to another state or country to close a business deal and your flight gets cancelled. You instantly lose money and time. Many travel experts and airlines advise you to prepare and be there at the airport early to avoid inconveniences, but what if you did all that and your flight was still cancelled? Here are some tips to help you deal with a cancellation without losing your cool:
1. Don’t shoot the messenger
Whether it’s the staff behind the gate desk or a customer service agent over the phone, you need to talk to someone who can help you with your situation. As soon as you can, find the reason behind the cancellation. It’s easier said than done, but try not to lose your temper and get mad at the helpless staff behind the desk. Whatever caused the cancellation isn’t their fault, and they’re doing their best to help you and the other stranded customers. Explain your situation as best as you can without raising your voice. Once you know the reason, ask about your rebooking options. Keep in mind that whether the reason is within or beyond the airline’s control, they have to book you for the next available flight.
2. Rebook your flight online
In case of an unplanned cancellation, your airline will do its best to book you for the next available flight. However, this is where it gets tricky. Because you’re not the only stranded passenger, you’ll have to compete with everybody else when getting into the next flight. To make rebooking quick and hassle free, take advantage of the airport ticket kiosks, since they give you free access to the airline’s online booking system. You can also use your mobile phone to log into the online system and rebook your flight so you can get to your destination faster.
3. Ask about compensation
Even though airlines aren’t required by the government to compensate you in case of a cancelled flight, many of them have policies to make sure that they bring you to your destination. It’s also possible that the next available flight is hours or even a day away, forcing you to spend a night or two at the airport or a nearby hotel. If this is the case, ask about what kind of compensation your airline is willing to provide. Depending on the situation, you can be given free hotel stays, vouchers, and food coupons to avoid additional expenses.
4. Think of alternative transportation options
In case you’re in a hurry to get to your destination, think of other ways of getting there. If your flight to your hometown is cancelled and you can’t wait for the next available one, ask for a free, alternative flight to a city that’s near your hometown. Then from there, you can either take a bus, taxi, or hire a car that’ll get you home. It might be inconvenient, but it’s a better option if you don’t want to stay at the airport or hotel for the night.
No matter how much planning you do, always expect the unexpected. Armed with the right information, enough patience and flexibility, you’ll be able to breeze through a cancelled flight and get your travel plans right back on track.