You’ve done your due diligence. You’ve packed ahead of time, scheduled pick-up transportation, and arrived to the airport two hours prior to your departure. You’re staring up at the departures monitor, when you’re overcome by a feeling of dread. Your worst nightmare has come true—your flight is delayed.
It doesn’t matter if it’s due to bad weather or peak travel season. Being delayed is an unwelcome experience. However, some flight requests and rebookings work in the favor of the traveler. That’s why it’s important to make the most of a delayed flight.
Below are our tips.
Do your homework.
Checking historical, on-time performance data before booking can help inform your travel plans. Sound complex? Thanks to FlightStats, it isn’t. The free app provides real-time updates on flight statuses and airport tracking by aggregating mapping, traffic report, flight status, and weather sites. While the app won’t reduce flight delays entirely, it does provide insight on historical performance.
Know your passenger rights.
It’s important to know your rights as a traveler. Unbeknownst to some, most airlines have what’s called a Contract of Carriage, which essentially outlines passenger rights in the case of cancellations, delays, and other emergency situations. Learning your airlines’ rules and regulations can help avoid an even worse situation—and lucky for you, Airfarewatchdog has compiled a list.
Consider a lounge pass.
Airport lounges may come with preconceived notions—and some are admittedly more luxurious than others—but we’ll take a lounge over a terminal any day of the week. And if you think that lounges are reserved for the rich and famous, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Oftentimes, frequent fliers, business ticketholders, and subscribers to certain credit cards receive the benefit.
While airport lounges won’t help directly with flight delays, they provide free Wi-Fi, extra outlets, and other creature comforts—such as food and drink—that make finding a back-up plan that much more enjoyable.
Reach out to the right person.
During busy times, airport staff members are overwhelmed and overloaded—especially when flights are delayed or cancelled. Knowing who to contact during busy times can help prevent any further problems. Save your airline’s phone number into your phone, as calling their customer support teams is often significantly faster (and less frustrating) than standing in line.
Keep all of your travel information in a centralized location.
Having your travel information available on-demand comes in handy in hectic situations. Consider TripIt. Not only does the app store flight confirmations and create itineraries, it provides real-time flight alerts and helps discover alternate flights. The app is also integrated with hotel sites such as Hotel Engine, making it easy to store all your travel information in one accessible location.
No matter where you’re flying, booking through a hotel booking platform such as Hotel Engine ensures your back is covered. With zero change fees and cancellable rooms at thousands of hotels across North America, Latin America, and Europe, Hotel Engine is here for you 24/7.