How to Handle a Flight Delay
It’s every flyer’s nightmare save for a cancellation or a mishap: a delayed flight. Not only will it mess up your schedule. It will also waste your accommodations, travel plans, and – hopefully not! – business meeting plans.
Unfortunately, no amount of grumbling will bring your flight back to its path, so here are a list of things you can do to reduce the sting!
Book an Earlier Flight
It’s not just the improved visibility. Morning flights tend to be cheaper, less delay-prone, and they allow you more leeway to adjust your schedule in case something goes wrong. Remember Murphy’s Law.
Unless the savings are substantial, you might be better off choosing a flight that gives you plenty of time to loiter around your destination – which happens to be one that gives you the flexibility to book a new flight if you absolutely must make it in time.
Keep Your Phone Handy
You might have thought that you wouldn’t need your phone at your destination, especially if you’re heading overseas, but think again.
Besides the hours of free entertainment your phone can provide you with your airport’s free Wi-Fi, your phone is also the key to contact someone, be it a family member, friend, colleague, business partner, or hotel, to change your plans or bookings. It’s so convenient that it’s totally worth the time you need to dig it out for your inevitable scan!
Explore the Airport
If you’re a casual traveler, you’re probably out to get to know new places when you travel. What better place is there to start than the airport itself? Airports are usually grand affairs, even more so when they cater to international clientele, and many are jam-packed with all types of facilities meant to distract you from the horrors of a long wait.
The best airports in the world sound like five-star hotels – a far cry from what you’d expect from a transit hub. Want to experience one of these? Our neighbour Singapore’s Changi Airport makes the list, so hop over there for a taste of the world’s best at an affordable price.
Claim Your Dues
Your airline won’t compensate you if your flight is delayed due to natural occurrences such as bad weather, but not all is lost. If you have to wait for more than a few hours, the airline is obliged to provide you with food and drinks, and accommodation and/or transport arrangements if you have to wait longer.
You may also end up with a travel voucher or extra credits for your next trip. Make sure you ask the staff whenever your flight gets delayed!
Gatecrash the Lounges
Airport lounges look exclusive, and they are, to an extent. If you’re willing to pay a fee, you’re more than welcome to their amenities, including food, beverages, and a place to chill like a boss like the rest of the airport club members.
A hotel room and a meal or two will probably cost you somewhat the same amount anyway, so why not enjoy life right there, ready to hop onto your plane the moment it’s ready?
As with all types of crises management, the key is to stay calm and not panic. Delays are unfortunately more common than you might think, but with some smart maneuvering, it won’t hurt you. Consider the down-time an extended holiday that no one can refute, and relish it to the fullest!