What You Can Do When Airline Cancel Your Flight?

More flights were cancelled in the US on Tuesday, after a blizzard that affected travel across the country over the Christmas holiday weekend. It’s the latest in a series of mass delays and canceled flights that have plagued the airlines during the summer season.

Unfortunately, air travel is an unavoidable reality. But as airlines struggle to accommodate the increased number of passengers, they are forced to cancel mass flights.

Although airlines may take a hit on their reputation, it’s still far worse for passengers. A cancelled flight can mean missing important dates or even taking a financial hit.

In this article, we’ve compiled some helpful tips to help you navigate the various scenarios that can happen when travelling.

Understand The Flight Cancellation Reason

The top thing to note is that you are entitled to a refund if the airline cancels your flight. However, it all depends on the reason. For instance, you may not get a refund if all flights are delayed because of weather issues.

According to FlightAware, almost 3,000 flights were cancelled on New Year’s Day. It’s the worst day of the year for flight delays.

Bad weather has also added to the delays and cancelled flights.

Other factors such as weather conditions, airport capacity, and a strike can also cause delays and put you in a situation where you weren’t planning on visiting.

Sometimes, it’s better to wait for the inevitable delays and cancelled flights than to make a rushed decision.

In the wake of the recent flight cancellations and delays, we’ll discuss ways to reduce your chances of getting stuck.

How To Know About Flight Delays? 

The primary way to know about flight delays is by checking the weather reports of your take-off and destination. Typically, airlines don’t delay flights unless the weather is terrible. You can also check app notifications and your email for updates.

On FlightAware, you can see flight trends across the country and get a good overview of how the day is going to look like in the sky.

You can also opt in to receive flight notifications from your carrier through the app.

When To Reach The Airport During A Delay?

Typically, you should reach the airport one or two hours before the departure time during delays. This is because the delay reason may be resolved earlier than expected. So the flight will take off about thirty minutes after the issue has been solved.

Do I need to check the app again to see if my flight is still on time? If it is, then leave the airport and try to reach the originally scheduled time. However, if it shows as delayed, that’s usually subject to change.

Remember that even if the weather is good, a temporary ground stop can still cause delays. These can be lifted as soon as the conditions improve.

What To Do When Flight Is Canceled? 

If the flight is canceled due to reasons other than the weather, you are entitled to a complete refund. So you can get the money back and use a different airline. You can also rebook with the same company for another day.

You can get rebooked with many airlines online or at a designated kiosk. In most cases, you don’t need to stand in line to get rebooked.

Sometimes, the automated rebooking systems of airlines are not enough for you. For instance, I had a flight that got me home on time after a recent flight was delayed.

If you’re not sure which branch of the airline to go to for rebook, consider hiring a human in uniform who can help you get a ticket.

If you have frequent flier access, then you can call or message the airline using social media to get help. However, if the lines are long, then you should also call the airline’s call center.

If there are no reasonable options available to you with your airline, ask if there are other airlines that can accommodate you. Doing so is also worth doing in order to get the most out of your situation.

In my case, an airline employee assigned me to the standby list for another flight. Unfortunately, I didn’t get on the list because I was late.

Shop for new tickets

Sometimes, it’s better to do the work and get home. In my case, I found an award on a connecting flight that night for 30,000 miles. After trying to shop for a new ticket, I was able to get a refund from United.

Check airport hotels

While thinking about how to get home in case of a delayed or cancelled flight, consider taking advantage of airport hotels’ flexible rates and trying to stay in multiple rooms. Usually, these accommodations are cheaper than hotels due to their ability to accommodate demand.

Retreat to a lounge

If you can get into an airport lounge, then it’s a good place to gather thoughts and make decisions. There are also other options to get help, such as third-party lounges.

Make a decision

If you are indecisive, your flight options may disappear. You will most likely lose to the rebooking process if you do not move quickly.

If you are stuck, then going for a creative route is a good idea. It can help you get home if the flight is delayed. It can also cover unforeseen expenses that are not covered by the airline.

For instance, if you were supposed to leave Denver on a later date, then your original flight was delayed by five hours. After not being able to get on another flight, I decided to take a different route.

Related: How Much Does Flight Cancellation Insurance Cost?

What to Do if There is Bad Weather?

Bad weather can also cause delays. Before heading out, check the weather forecasts for the day of your travel to see how it will affect your plans. It’s also important to keep track of the status of your flight through the app.

More airlines are allowing their customers to change their plans without paying a difference due to weather conditions like a blizzard or an ice storm.

If you’re worried about a bad weather event, check the airline’s website or call the office to get an advisory. You can usually get a refund or a new flight if the airline has issued its own advisory.

What to Do If Your Airline Has a Strike?

Unfortunately, there are some rules when it comes to getting a refund or a new flight after a strike. Generally, the airline is not required to refund or rebook passengers.

If your airline isn’t operating on your travel days, then reach out to them via Twitter. You may also be able to get extra trip protections through your credit card.

Strategically Apply for Compensation From the Airlines

In the US, there are certain events that can trigger airline compensation. One of these is involuntary boarding, which can happen when a passenger was bumped from an overbooked flight.

Before accepting a non-cash offer, make sure to thoroughly understand its terms and conditions. It’s also important to keep a record of all your details, including your boarding passes and receipts.

Unfortunately, future flights are being offered for cancelled flights due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, these tickets will be handled the same as if they were purchased through third-party websites.

Avoid Checking Luggage to Remain Flexible

Most people who didn’t check their luggage can rebook their tickets using the airlines’ online rebooking tools. However, if they have no agreements with other carriers, they’ll have to wait for their own luggage to be retrieved.

Minimize the Chance of Flight Delays and Cancellations

Make sure to check the status of your flights before booking. Also, try to plan ahead and reserve flights when possible. According to AirHelp, the most frequent flight cancellations happen between 6 and 11:59 a.m.

If possible, try to take a stopover in order to avoid getting delayed. For instance, if you’re staying in Istanbul for a couple of days, Turkish Airlines provides free hotel accommodations. However, during this period, travel restrictions may prevent you from leaving the country.

Don’t Let Flight Delays Ruin the Journey

Due to the increasing number of passengers, major airports have started investing in new areas and facilities to accommodate them.

At Chicago’s O’Hare, travellers can enjoy a variety of facilities, such as a dedicated yoga room and a living green space.

In 2020, Mets/Skogen, a Finnish retailer, is planning to launch a forest bathing experience at Helsinki Airport. This facility will provide a more peaceful environment for passengers during their flight delays.

Although unexpected flight delays and cancelled flights can be stressful, these can be avoided with the help of these simple tips.

Related: What Should You Do When Airline Cancel Your Flight?

James Newman

James Newman is an air travel fanatic. From the fear of flying, TSA regulations, and saving money on flights & airlines, James has extensive knowledge when it comes to air travel. He hopes to make your air travel experience a better one with his blog flyingcomfortably.com.

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