Every traveller knows that air travel, even if it is according to plan, can be stressful. Let me enumerate a few examples: remember the time that you receive an e-mail advising you that your flight was moved to two hours later than the original flight schedule? Well, there goes your plan to do some early-morning windsurfing after checking in one of the Tenerife luxury hotels in the region. You have to be in the airport a couple of hours before your flight; it’s such a waste of time waiting for the announcement to board. And who would ever dismiss the inconvenience of waiting in long queues, arguing with airport staff about the weight of your baggage, or walking to gates that seem to be kilometres away.
One of the most stressful things that could happen is when your flight becomes unexpectedly delayed or cancelled due to factors such as mechanical malfunctions, bad weather, or other circumstances that you cannot control. Although these unfortunate events do not happen all the time, they are part of the reality of air trouble.
Delays and cancellations can definitely make your blood boil and your head ache. You get tempted to simply head off to the airline’s front desk staff and vent out your anger on them (many passengers who reached the end of their patience actually do this). Or you may have this wish that you know how to fly an aircraft so you can simply get on one and fly to your destination.
When unexpected delays and cancellations happen, do not lose your cool. Keep calm and good results will find you.
* Before leaving the house or hotel, call the airline to check your flight status. Or you can check online if you have the opportunity to connect to the Web. Note that airlines may change the schedules within a day or two or even a few hours before the flight. If you notice any change, contact the airline right away for more information.
* If the delay or cancellation causes you to miss your connecting flight, inform the airline right away regarding your situation. Remember that as a paying passenger, it is their responsibility to accommodate you. Thus, they should book you in the next available flight, arrange for your new connecting flight, or provide you accommodations and meals.
* Ask the airline what caused the delay or cancellation and how long it will stay in effect. That information will help you in re-assessing your travel plans. Ask suggestions if the unfortunate event can severely hamper your travel plans.
* If you have check-in baggage, ask the airlines what is their procedure when it comes to delayed or cancelled flights. Some airlines return the luggage to you and advice you to check them in again, while some assure you that they will take care of your stuff.
* Call involved individuals about your delay. For instance, if you’re expecting a colleague to pick you up at the destination’s airport, phone them and tell them of the delay. Then arrange a new pickup time.
Lastly, relax. You may not know it, but the airline and airport personnel are doing all their best to get you on board. So sit back, read a book, play a game on your smart phone, or tour the airport while waiting for your new boarding time.