Cancelled Flight: 4 Things You Must Do
Image Credit: Ashim D’Silva
You are just finishing both a cup of coffee and your feed on the last social media. You look at the time on the top part of your phone and realise it’s almost time to check which gate your flight is departing from.
You make your way through throngs of people going in every possible direction towards that huge billboard that contains all the flights of the day. You manage to avoid a frontal collision with a teenager who was looking down at his phone, dodge an elderly couple and make it without stepping on an infant.
You look up at the board, it takes a while for you to locate your flight number, next to it the dreaded words CANCELLED. Your whole world sinks, you feel both hot and cold, angry and desolated. A real rollercoaster of emotion.
Your flight was cancelled, your trip is ruined. But now what? Do you stay there and beg for another airline to take you? Do you get a refund? Do you get put on another flight?
Cancelled Flight: First Action – Stay Calm
You will probably be too upset to remain calm. You will want to shout and demand this cancelled flight to be fixed immediately. Unfortunately, there is nothing that anyone can do. If the flight is cancelled, it will remain cancelled.
There will be plenty of people upset, being rude and shouting at ground agents and at the help desks. If you can, remain calm, polite and be thankful for their help. You will most likely score valuable points with them and might get a special treatment.
Image Credit: Matthew Smith
Cancelled Flight: Second Action – Know Your Rights
A cancelled flight is bad for both you and the airlines; it’s expensive and used only on last resort. If you ever see yourself facing the dreaded CANCELLED letters next to your flight number, you must know that there are still some options for your travel plans.
- get a full refund of the ticket
- get put on a replacement flight (might be with a different airline)
- get a hotel room and a transfer to the airport (if staying overnight)
In some cases, you might be entitled to a monetary compensation and help with expenses made on food and drinks at the airport. This applies to any EU carrier, for non-EU carriers, you might have to claim those expenses through your travel insurance.
Image Credit: Thong Vo
Cancelled Flight: Third Action – Customer Support
Head to the help desk while calling the support lines. Sometimes the people on the phone might have more information than the agents on the ground. When disruption happens, hell breaks lose and vital communication is lost.
You might turn into a useful link between what the people in the call centre know and what the agents on the ground know.
Image Credit: Agberto Guimaraes
Cancelled Flight: Fourth Action – Make Plans
As you make your way to the customer help desk, think about your plans for this trip. Since you can get a full refund for this cancelled flight, you need to think if it’s better to lose one or two days and keep your travel plans or go back home.
Image Credit: Rob Bye
Flying has been pretty reliable, but weather, strikes and other external factors can impact the day to day operation. Hopefully, you will never experience a cancelled flight, but if you do, remember that being polite will take you a long way!
So after you get a solution, you can go back and enjoy another cup of coffee and recheck all your social media feeds, they must have plenty of new things by now.