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What to do when your flight is canceled or delayed?

Is your flight got canceled or delayed due to bad weather or any other critical issues? Don't worry! Plan your trip wisely and reach your destination safely by following some of the useful tips mentioned in this article on how to handle the flight delays and cancellations.

It is quite common for the travelers to face some hurdles during their journey. Flight delays and unexpected cancellation of the flight at the last minute is one of the most annoying moments for the travelers who are on their way to enjoy the vacation and those who are on the verge to attend any important meetings or events. Delays and cancellations of the flight generally collapse the entire travel plan and may result in travel disruptions. So, before traveling the travelers should consider the common delay factors in mind and have to plan their journey wisely to make their trip more comfortable.

Reasons for flight delays and cancellations

The most commonly expected reasons for flight delays and cancellations are due to the critical technical problems in the aircraft, bad weather, and air traffic congestion. Generally, the airlines take the complete responsibility in guiding the passengers if there is any delay due to the technical problems in their aircraft. In such rare and worst case, the airlines help their passengers in re-booking, providing food, accommodation, and other alternative arrangements.

Some of the delay factors which are beyond the control of the airline's management are bad weather and traffic congestion. No human can control heavy rain, fog, storm, etc. So, during certain difficult times, the travelers should be mentally prepared to face the delay in both the arrival and departure. Flight cancellation mostly occurs when the bad weather continues for a long time.

Read More about How to Deal with a Cancelled flight due to Bad weather

How to plan your travel wisely to handle flight delay/ cancellation?

Being proactive is always better than being reactive. So, it is always advisable to have a wise travel plan before stepping out for a vacation or any journey. Getting stranded at an unknown place due to any unexpected issues in the middle of the journey will be the worst nightmare for the travelers.

For example, if your flight is departing from a weather-affected airport, then obviously you have to face flight delays/cancellations. During such situation how will you manage your travel? To handle such unavoidable situations, the travelers must follow the below mentioned important tips before leaving the home and starting their journey.

Flight board

  • Check the status of the flight before starting to the airport : On the date of your journey, check the status of your flight before starting to the airport. Because checking the flight status in prior will help you to make last minute alterations in your travel plan and it will also give you an idea on how to be prepared for the journey.

    Generally, airlines will inform their passengers in case of any delay or cancellation of the flight via SMS or e-mail. In case if they forget to send a notification to their passengers, then it will be an inconvenience to the passengers. So, check the flight status before your travel to avoid unnecessary inconvenience

  • Pack extra food and sheets : Airlines will mostly provide meals, accommodation, and other facilities to their customers in case of flight delays but if your flight got canceled, then you may or may not get necessary facilities from the airlines. So, it is always advisable to make your own travel arrangements. Pack extra food and one or two blankets or sheets if your travel is scheduled from a weather-affected airport. It is always better to take some packed foods rather than buying foods at the airport outlets because such foods are costlier than the shops outside the airport

  • Download necessary mobile applications in the smartphone : The smartphone is one of the friendly devices which always extend its help to the users in tough times. Each and every one of us holds a smartphone. Why not use the smartphone effectively? Before starting the journey, download important travel-related mobile applications like flight tracking app, hotel booking app, ticket booking app, food ordering app, your airline's mobile app and other necessary travel-related mobile applications in your smartphone.

    Having the important mobile applications in the smartphone will help you to save time in seeking the necessary facilities when you get stranded at the airport. Also, you need not depend on any third party assistance when everything is available online

  • Save important contact numbers : It is a good practice to keep the contact numbers of the airport, airlines customer center, etc. handy because searching the contact numbers during emergency situation takes extra time

  • Know your airport : Before starting your journey, grab the necessary details about your departure airport. Having a prior idea about the hotels, restaurants and bus stations located near the airport will help you to make your own arrangements in the nearby location when you are left stranded at the airport

  • Know the air travel rules : Every traveler must know the air travel rules before their journey. The air travel rules vary from country to country. When traveling overseas, different rules apply for different country and the travelers should strictly follow the air travel rules of a particular country to avoid travel-related chaos

What to do when the flight you booked is canceled or delayed?

Flight canceled

  1. Behave politely to the customer representative : When you get to know your flight is canceled or delayed, don't burst out and show your anger to the customer representative of your airlines. Acting furiously will never bring a solution to your issue. So, stay calm, behave politely and ask for assistance

  2. Know the policy of your airlines : If your flight is canceled or delayed, first get to know the flight delays and cancellation policy of your airlines. Also gather details about seat re-booking, refunds, and other alternate arrangements to plan your travel accordingly. To know the policy of your airlines, visit the official website of your airlines or contact the customer center of your airlines. Many airlines provide assistance via social media sites like Facebook and Twitter through a social media response team

  3. Ask about meal or hotel facilities : Airlines generally arrange food and accommodation to their customers in case of long delays. So, inquire the customer representative of your airlines about meal coupons, accommodation or any other alternate arrangements and avail the facilities if there is any. The travelers can also make their own arrangements without depending on the airlines. But make sure you get to know your rights and the obligations of the airlines as a customer during flight delay or cancellation.

  4. Re-book immediately to grab a seat : If your flight is canceled, then immediately check for the next available flights from your departure airport and re-book a seat to get a confirmed ticket. Be quick in re-booking a seat because everybody will be in a haste to book a ticket in the next available flight. For re-booking you can use flight ticket booking apps or else you can also call the airline's customer service.

Important tips to be followed while re-booking

  • Book early hours flight : Before re-booking, first get to know the weather status of the departure airport. If you re-book a seat in the last flight of a day in spite of a bad weather, then more chances will be there for flight delays or cancellation. So, while re-booking a flight try to book a seat in the flight which was scheduled to depart in the early hours because you will get more time to reschedule your travel if your re-booked flight also faces any further delay or cancellation

  • Book a direct flight to avoid further delays : If a direct flight to your destination is available at your departure airport, then it is advisable to book a seat on the direct flight to avoid time delays. If your first flight gets delayed or canceled then your travel from the connecting airports will be missed. So, consider the time difference between the connecting flights, plan accordingly and re-book a ticket.

  • Check the on-time performance of a flight : Before re-booking, check the on-time performance of a flight because some flights normally face frequent delays. Booking a ticket in the airlines which has a good on-time performance will help you to reach the destination on-time without any delay.

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Author: Natarajan14 Mar 2018 Member Level: Gold   Points : 6

A practical and thoughtful article. Cancellation of flights is not that uncommon, we need to be prepared for it. Recently we had dense fog-related cancellation of flights from Delhi and Bangalore. Incidentally, just yesterday, we had a report of 45 canceled flights of IndiGo due to the grounding of the A320 neo planes by the DGCA.

It's always good to have option B and C worked out at least in our minds if we are likely to face cancellation of flights. With regards to spare food and clothing, adults can somehow adjust but we have to be prepared for children.

Since many families have the entire vacation planned and arranged by a tour coordinator, having their contact details is very important. These agents/travel advisors will have many contacts in their profession who can help us get tickets, inform the hotels and the local travel bookings to be re-arranged.

All this would incur a charge, that we need to be prepared and having working credit cards is handy. If there is any compensation that would be paid for then please remember to ask one of the carrier's agents to advise you so that you can claim back, when you return from the holiday.

Sometimes the delay is too long to continue with the holiday. Instead of wasting time and disheartening the children and ourselves, we can contact the travel agents to come up with a short notice booking for a local tourist destination. This way, we can continue with our holiday experience and overcome the disappointment of the flight cancellations.

Author: K Mohan18 Mar 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

As far as possible we should avoid planning to fly by air when the weather conditions are not good and there are going to be hick ups at the air traffic regulations. During the peak winter and heavy rainy seasons, the airport runways would be closed and the flights gets delayed. Likewise during heavy fog in the morning hours, the flights gets delayed or diverted. We know that during certain circumstances only we book the ticket for flights so to reach the place and return back the same day.But our plans go haywire during seasons with abnormality. In that case we should have plan B ready for implementation. One may postpone the visit, or take up road or rail travel to reach the destination or even cancel the trip altogether. As far as my suggestion goes, book tickets in train and flight, so that any one travel could be possible in emergencies.

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao22 Mar 2018 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 4

Many times many might have faced the problem of a flight delay. During the late 1980s, only Indian Airlines flights were in operation. If there was any delay in departure they used to take care of passengers very nicely. But as the concept of cheap flights has come those facilities are gone. Always we should plan minimum 4 to 5 hours gap for a connecting flight to take care any unforeseen delays in the initial flight.It is always advisable to book the initial flight and connecting flight from the same airline operators so that they will take care of your onward journey.If we are planning a trip of one week or so, it is always advisable to keep the programme in such a way that you will reach back your place at least one day before your leave expires. This will be safe in case if any delay or cancellation of flight happens you need not worry about extending your leave by one day.

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