7 Air Travel Tips to Know Before Your Flight
What to do when your flight is canceled
- There are actions you can take to make a canceled flight less problematic.
- Stay calm, ask your airline to rebook you, ask about accommodations, and request an amenity kit if you checked baggage
All travelers dread it — the announcement that their flight has been canceled.
Fortunately, there are some actions you can take to ensure that the cancellation doesn't completely ruin your travel plans.
We took a look at one Quora thread, asking "What are some tips for getting the best outcome when your flight is canceled?"
Quora user and United million mile flyer Stephanie Vardavas had some great tips. Here's what she suggests:
Immediately call your airline and ask them to rebook you onto another flight.
Vardavas says this is the "number one most important thing you can do." She says that you won't be charged a fee for the rebooking, and that the quicker you call, the more likely you are to get a relatively good seat on a flight that works for your schedule.
Vardavas also advises confirming your seat assignment while on the call since a last-minute booking usually means very few window and aisle seats will be open. And no one likes being stuck in the middle.
Know that if your flight is canceled because of issues with the airplane equipment, you might be entitled to an accommodation voucher.
According to Vardavas, if your flight is canceled due to weather issues, the airline doesn't owe you anything. But, if the cancellation has something to do with the airline or airplane, you should inquire about meal and accommodation vouchers. If the cancellation leads to an overnight delay for you, your airline should provide you with a hotel room for that night.
If you end up on a shuttle to an airport hotel, Vardavas says to make sure to get a seat near the front of the bus so that you can check in before all the other stranded passengers who will also be staying at that hotel. Vardavas also says to ask — while you're checking in — if you need a reservation for a shuttle ride to the airport the next morning. Making a reservation that evening will allow you to avoid panic in the morning when you're trying to catch your flight.
If you've checked baggage and are delayed overnight, ask for an amenity kit.
Cancellations are always easier to handle if you only have carry-on bags. But if that's not the case, the airline will reroute your checked baggage to your destination — it just might not arrive at the same time you do, at which point the airline will deliver your bags to you at no cost. Make sure to keep your baggage receipt until you receive your luggage.
Vardavas says that if you're stranded overnight, and you have your toiletries in your checked baggage, you can go to the airline's baggage service office (located near baggage claim) and ask for an amenity kit. According to Vardavas, these handy kits contain the essentials: a toothbrush, toothpaste, a sleep mask, lip balm, ear plugs, lotion, etc.
Stay calm and be nice to those working for the airlines.
Flight cancellations are frustrating, especially if you need to be somewhere. However, as Vardavas says, it's not the fault of your gate attendant, flight attendant, or pretty much anyone else working for the airline. So don't take it out on them.
Video: Your Flight Got Cancelled. Now What?
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