How to Survive Flight Cancellations
Many of you are aware of the many flight cancellations happening lately. Reasons for the cancellations include weather, staffing shortages for airlines and air traffic control, and ambitious schedules from airlines trying to recover from pandemic losses.
Regardless of the reason, cancellations can be very disruptive to your long-awaited travel plans. Some with cruises to catch can find themselves literally missing the boat. Others with more flexible plans may just miss a day of their vacation.
What can be done? Sadly, there is no magic trick to avoid the random last-minute airline cancellation. Even the Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, was a victim of a flight cancellation recently. Ironically this happened right after a meeting with the airlines about how to correct their operational issues. He ended up driving to his destination.
However, you can do your best to put yourself higher up the list in getting rebooked relatively more quickly. When you book your flights, make sure you are signed up to receive updates from the airline directly to your phone. Then if you are one of the unfortunate ones to have your flight canceled, do the following:
- Immediately inform your travel advisor if you are working with one. They can try to rebook you online while you work on the rest.
- Call the airline. You will likely have a long wait of over an hour or more but at least you are in line and have a shot at speaking with an airline rep.
- While on hold with the airline, drive to the airport. If you are at the airport and in front of a live agent, you are likely to have better luck getting on a flight.
- Know what partner airlines your airline is affiliated with. If your airline does not offer a flight available on a partner airline, insist they rebook you on one if available.
Most importantly, invest in travel insurance. With all the travel challenges these days, insurance can bail you out when you need it. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your precious vacation dollars.