Stranded at an airport due to a cancelled or delayed flight? Here’s how you can make the experience less painful.
Flights may have made our lives easier but they have also brought along their fair share of troubles in the form of delays and cancellations. When you’ve planned your vacation down to the last detail, a sudden flight delay or cancellation can throw your plans out of gear. The only upside to this is you can get creative with how you want to spend the extra time you suddenly have at your disposal.
Here is a list of things you can do to kill all that extra time and make those delays and cancellations less painful:
Know Your Air Travel Rights:
In case of flight delays and cancellations, most carriers will book a seat on the next available flight or offer a refund for your ticket. This is applicable even if you have a non-refundable ticket. Some carriers, depending on the contract they have, can also rebook you to your final destination with another airline.
If you’re unsure whether your carrier will rebook you or offer a refund on your tickets In the event of a flight delay or cancellation, you can always check with the nearest available airline representative. Some of the other ways airlines try to compensate for delays and cancellations is by offering food vouchers, complimentary hotel stays etc.
It is, therefore, a good idea to read the fine print before you undertake your journey so that a sudden snag during your transit doesn’t derail your travel plans.
Additional Reading: 5 Financial Travel Tips You Should Keep In Mind
Get Travel Insurance:
You may need to shell out a few more bucks to buy Travel Insurance but that additional cost will be well worth it if things go awry. A lot can go wrong on a vacation like a sudden bout of illness, misplaced luggage etc. This is where Travel Insurance can come to your rescue by covering you financially in case of an emergency.
Check If Your Credit Card Offers Trip Delay Protection:
If you’ve used a Credit Card to book your flight, check if it offers benefits like trip delay or cancellation protection. If it does, file a claim with your airline after your flight is delayed or cancelled.
When flights are delayed owing to inclement weather, you are entitled to compensation by the carrier. Many cards offer trip delay reimbursement for delays of 12 hours or longer. Keep your boarding pass and travel documents handy as proof of your claim for a disrupted flight.
Additional Reading: Purchasing Travel Insurance!
Lounge In Luxury:
If you have a Credit Card that comes with lounge privileges, make the best use of it instead of waiting for hours in vain. Lounges these days offer a host of services from spas, sumptuous buffet spreads featuring local and international delicacies, wines, liquors, complimentary Wi-Fi, foot massages etc.
Catch a break from the madness and din created by disgruntled co-passengers by getting a quick shut-eye or enjoying a good meal in the lap of luxury.
Use Your Social Media Skills:
Sometimes venting your anger at the gate agent or making endless calls to the airline may not yield any results. That’s when you can take advantage of your social media accounts. Most airlines these days have very active social media accounts, which they use to respond to customer complaints instantaneously.
You can personally DM your airline on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram for assistance with your refund claim or to rebook you on another flight. Remember to be polite while using social media though. Using a verbally abusive tone or explicit language won’t help your case or get them to resolve your issue any faster.
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Occupy Yourself With Technology:
If your flight has been delayed due to unfavourable weather conditions, you can expect a wait of at least a couple of hours. It’s always a good idea to carry stuff in your carry-on like your Kindle or paperbacks (whatever floats your boat), or you can just plug in your Amazon Audible to listen to the books you’ve been meaning to read all this time.
If you have an iPad, you can connect to the airport Wi-Fi to catch up on your favourite series on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video etc. In fact, airport downtime presents the perfect opportunity catch up on all the things you’ve always wanted to do but never found the time for (as long as they don’t involve jumping off cliffs or playing practical jokes on unsuspecting people).
- Explore Your Surroundings:
As much as we may want to, getting out into the city may not be possible during flight delays. The best way to indulge your itchy feet is to explore the nooks and crannies of the airport. If you aren’t sure if you’ll get time to shop at your holiday destination, you can always make use of this time to buy gifts for your family and friends from the duty-free stores or get your hands on some luxury beauty products and premium liquor. Airports like the Singapore Changi Airport even has a cinema theatre in Terminals 2 and 3. Watch a flick if you’ve got some to time to kill.
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Get Some Shut-Eye:
Sometimes there may be no improvement in the weather conditions and your flight might get completely cancelled. If you can’t find a hotel nearby, try and find a comfortable place to curl up and enjoy a quick nap. Carrying a light shawl or blanket, sleep mask etc. in your carry-on can help you prepare for circumstances like these.
Flight delays or cancellations may not be in your hands but buying the right Travel Insurance policy certainly is. A comprehensive Travel Insurance plan can come to your rescue in the event of flight delays and cancellations, lost baggage, sudden illness or hospitalisation etc. At the time of booking your tickets, make sure that you’ve also bought a Travel Insurance plan for your journey. It may also be a good idea to comb through the fine print to become aware of what its inclusions and exclusions are.
Making a foreign trip soon? Explore customised Travel Insurance plans here.