Flight delays and cancellations are more common than ever. Due to staff shortages, reduced capacity or changes in the weather, these hiccups are to be expected, especially in a year that has been so frustrating for the travel industry. They’re unavoidable, but some preparation can help you deal with the problem as best as possible.
LifeHacker compiled a list of the best advice when exposed to a situation like this. Here are our favorites:
Book the trip with these possibilities in mind
Knowing that delays and cancellations are a possibility is a good thing to keep in mind, since it will allow you to get to the airport ahead of time, and to react faster, skipping over the anger and frustration that is so common when facing these experiences and being unprepared. Give yourself as much flexibility as you can with your bookings and know that connecting flights and checking luggage means further complications.
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It’s important to act quickly once a flight is canceled or delayed, speaking to a representative as soon as you can. If you’re in line to talk to a flight representative, get on the phone and try your best to contact someone. Be informed with websites like Skyscanner, since it pays to know other options, especially those within the same airline, when talking to the flight attendant.
Direct flights are easier
While more expensive, direct flights are likelier to be less painful and easier to solve should something go wrong. Direct flights work best when purchased ahead of time, and are a good option if you want to avoid a delay or cancellation.
If you have a connecting flight, make sure there’s enough time
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Sometimes connecting flights need to happen. When in these situations, make sure there’s a two or three hour gap between each flight. Sure, you’ll be traveling for the majority of the day, but it gives you some insurance that you’ll reach your destination on time.
Consider travel insurance
While the majority of shoppers tend to disregard travel insurance, it has become a helpful tool nowadays. These can ensure you get a good deal when facing these situations, although you should read the fine print carefully in order to avoid a bad situation.