You might have spent hours planning the perfect trip but sometimes, things don’t go to plan and you might encounter an unexpected delay or even a cancellation of your flight. When this happens, what should you do? Although this might serve as a small obstacle in your journey towards a well-deserved holiday, here are some steps you can follow to avoid this culminating in a total travel disaster. Swipe through the gallery to find out what you should do when your flight is cancelled.
- Check your credit card
Some credit cards offer trip delay protection, so you should pay attention to the travel benefits that your credit card issuer offers. Some credit cards also offer trip interruption coverage, which means, your trip is interrupted after you’ve started your journey. This could include cancellation of a connecting flight. Different credit cards offer different types of trip interruption or delay coverage, which range from a full refund to a sum of compensation from the airline. Of course, this only holds if you used the same card to book your flight tickets.
2. Be proactive in trying to rebook your flight
If your flight is cancelled, you might notice that the staff at the airport are swamped and busy dealing with people’s demands for a new flight. One way to quickly get your flight rebooked is to call the airline’s hotline and speak to their customer service personnel for help. Alternatively, you could try rebooking your flight on the airline’s affiliated app, if they have one.
- Make changes to your plans
If your flight is delayed or cancelled, make sure you inform the hotel you are staying at of your flight status. Think your plans through and make sure you let anyone who might be waiting on you know the change in schedule. This includes car rental companies or other activities you have already signed up for. Letting these agencies know as soon as possible may protect you from having to pay any cancellation charges.
- Turn to social media
This might be something we’re all familiar with—airing our unhappiness on social media. While reaching out to an airline’s customer service officer might help in this situation, remember to be polite when voicing out the problem. Cursing or using crude language will only reflect badly on you and doesn’t help them resolve your issue any faster. Pro tip: Twitter is a good way to get your message out to your airline’s customer service personnel fast if you are looking for a quick response.
- Negotiate for the best possible deal
One of the most important things to note when your flight is cancelled is to not accept any offers or sign any legally binding agreements without reading the fine print. Many carriers will try to solve the issue as quickly as possible, offering a few freebies, offers and discounts for your future travels. In this case, make sure you think through all your options before deciding on whether to accept their offer as it might hinder you to better compensation down the line. Also, if they try to give you a new flight that you don’t like or a deal that does not seem fair, this is the time to be buay paiseh and voice out your dislike. Since some fault of your cancelled flight lies with the carrier and airline, there is a high chance they will be receptive to any complaints you might have.
- Look at the terms and conditions of your travel insurance
If you don’t usually purchase travel insurance, it’s a good idea for you to consider investing in it for future trips. Travel insurance usually offer further compensation and reimbursements in case of events like a flight delay or cancelled flights. While an airline might only compensate you for the flight that was cancelled, travel insurance can help cover you a whole lot more. Depending on the terms and conditions of your travel insurance, you can claim reimbursements for hotel stays and other activities you already paid for but missed because of your rescheduled flight.
- Keep a copy of your documents
When filing for a claim for your delayed flight, you will probably have to present a copy of your boarding pass, your passport and other travel documents for identification and verification purposes. It is important to keep these documents safe and even make a copy of them to ensure that you will get your reimbursements. Also, if you will have to spend additional money, be sure to keep receipts of any expenditure incurred because of the flight delay as you could be able to get compensation for those as well.
- Check out the airport
So you’ve done all you could possibly do while waiting for your new flight. If you find yourself just idly waiting around, how about you check out the airport’s attractions? Many airports are built with tourist attractions that will offer entertainment to visitors who need to kill some time before their flight. Singapore’s Changi Airport is home to a four-storey slide; Munich Airport offers a mini golf course where travellers can play a round of golf at, and Hong Kong International Airport even has an IMAX cinema in the terminal. It might not be so bad having to spend a few extra hours at the airport you are at.