When you are all set to get on a flight at a specific time, hearing it has been delayed can be insanely frustrating. However, a delay does not necessarily mean you have to spend the rest of your day feeling grumpy, bored, and frustrated. Here are some things you can do to cope with an unexpected delay throwing a wrench in your travel plans.
Check The Airline’s Flight Delay Policy
The first thing you should do when you find out your flight has been delayed is look into the cause of the flight and see the airline’s policies. Legally, no American airlines are required to give you compensation or perks for delays due to weather, labor strikes, riots, or other problems beyond their control that affect all airlines. However, they are required to give you compensation for flight delays that happen because they made a mistake, and many big airlines have company wide policies in place. Knowing delay policies helps you know your rights and learn what you are entitled to.
Talk To A Service Representative
Once you are informed on your rights for this specific situation and airline, it is time to talk to a customer service rep for your airline. You may be able to speak to someone in the airport, but if the line is long, give them a call or even try contacting their social media account. Make sure to ask how long the delay is, what has happened to your checked luggage, and how it will alter your connecting flight. You can choose to rebook your flight, ask for a refund, or request vouchers for hotels or airport food. If you had travel insurance, be sure to give them a call too and get help rearranging your plans. Always remember to remain polite and friendly. It is tempting to get mad and yell, but representatives are more likely to go out of their way to help you when you are pleasant.
Enjoy The Airport
Unless you are rebooking your flight for a different day, you can expect to have an hour or two of time to kill in the airport. Try to look on the bright side and see this as an entertaining way to spend time instead of a major inconvenience. Almost all airports will have places where you can get food or enjoy a drink. Then it is time to find a comfy place to relax and wait. Some airports let you access VIP lounges for a small fee, or you can walk around until you spot a good chair near an outlet or table. Your delay can be a great time to catch up on your sleep, read a book, watch some tv, or play a game. If you like socializing, you may find other travelers on the same flight that you can have fun getting to know.
Of course no one wants a travel delay to happen, but it does not have to ruin your entire day. With these helpful strategies you can still enjoy your time and maybe get some great perks out of the delay.