Nothing is worse on a vacation than a cancelled flight or really long flight delays. And it’s made even worse by the fact that the airlines often have no requirement to help you out when the delay is because of weather, which is the biggest cause of nasty flight delays.
All they have to do is get you out on their soonest available flight in the class of service you booked. The rest is up to you.
Here are some ways to help you get home more quickly and avoid extra cost.
Five Ways To Beat Airline Flight Delays
1. Change online.
Some airlines like Delta let you rebook flights online when you have a delay. It’s a lot quicker and easier than dealing with an agent or the customer service phone line. Just login to the website or the company’s smartphone app and pull up your reservation. You’ll see options to change flights. Other airlines will be implementing this in the future, so keep it in mind.
If you can’t get online, get yourself on hold while you’re waiting so you can reach an agent more quickly. Also consider sending a Tweet to the assistance desk of your airline. United, Delta, and American will all help with reservations via Twitter.
2. Do your own flight search?
If you can’t change online, still get online with your phone while you’re waiting and start looking for flights that are available for sale and ask to be put on them. When really bad weather strikes, and the usual options are days away, airlines may be able to book you on other airlines as an option.
But you need to be firm and polite in asking about them. It helps to have examples ready to go for them to look up. Kayak.com does a good job of displaying a complete list of flights available.
Just note Southwest flights aren’t on there, but Southwest doesn’t have an agreement to carry other airline’s passengers, so they won’t be an option anyway.
And if you’re in coach, you’re only going to fly in coach. Don’t make the case that because they only have first class seats left you are entitled to one – that’s rarely possible.