If you boarded a plane last year, you had a one in five chance of experiencing a delay and a 2% chance of your flight being cancelled. While that’s not horrible odds, you still would have been one of millions of travellers who experienced these annoying and inconvenient travel snags. And during the busy holiday travel season ahead, delays and cancellations are more likely.
Here are some steps you should take if your flight is delayed or cancelled including how to get another flight faster, and prevent losing out on money.
The moment after you book your ticket, it’s wise to purchase travel insurance. Trip Cancellation benefits by Allianz Global Assistance may reimburse reasonable, non-refundable expenses if your trip is cancelled or delayed for a covered reason, or if your trip has been interrupted after it has started.
Let’s say your flight is delayed a day due to a blizzard forecasted after you purchased travel insurance. Trip Cancellation benefits by Allianz Global Assistance may reimburse certain non-refundable expenses such as the cost of your hotel room, food and transit to the airport to catch your rescheduled flight.
To stay ahead of delays, it’s most helpful to opt into text updates on your flight’s status or monitor for any issues in real time through a mobile app. If you’ve purchased travel insurance from Allianz Global Assistance, be sure to download our TripWise mobile app, which can immediately update you on flight delays and cancellations.
Start monitoring the weather days before you fly. If you notice there’s a storm that could affect your flight’s path, check to see if there’s an advisory on your airline’s website. If there is, give the airline a call to see if they can reschedule either your arriving or return flight by as much as a few days, with no additional fees. A non-stop flight may also be a possibility. But if the airline hasn’t issued an advisory for the weather system, you will most likely have to pay the difference to book another flight.
The day before your flight, check your flight status on the airlines website and if you’re not signed up for text alerts, you should be!
Show up at the originally intended time, even if your flight is delayed. Sometimes, even delayed flight statuses are subject to change and you don’t want to miss your plane if it happens to arrive not as behind schedule as expected. If the delay is significant, use your best judgment.
If you don’t want to wait around for your delayed flight, you can book another flight through an airline self-service kiosk, the airline’s website, with a ticket agent or through the airline’s call center. If the Canadian call center is slow, try calling the international line for faster assistance. If there are no other options, you may have to rebook your flight with another airline.
If you are an airline club member, you can head to a lounge for assistance from ticket agents in a potentially shorter line. You can also decompress, sit comfortably and charge your devices. If your delay is for a night, see if you can book any surrounding hotels with your credit card travel points. Cash payments on airport hotels can be pricey during high demand times.