Canceled flights? You're looking out that airport window...
That's your plane out there, but it's not going anywhere...
...not for a while... and neither are you. Canceled flights are a headache for everyone.
Believe me, the airlines don't like to cancel.
It starts a whole domino effect.
Not just for your flight, but for flights at down-line airports all through the day.
Planes end up in the wrong places with crews that can't fly because of time regulations.
So you’re on your way to the airport… the weather looks fine where you are, Then you get the bad news.
Probably the most common reason a flight is canceled is weather.
Sometimes this is pretty obvious...
...like if you're sitting in the middle of a snow storm and no one is moving anywhere.
Sometimes you look outside and it’s sunny and calm.
How can the flight be canceled for weather like that?
Think about it.
The weather might be occurring somewhere else.
Maybe there are severe thunderstorms on the East Coast, and that’s where the flight is coming from.
Maybe the flight is coming from sunny Florida but it’s coming THOUGH a hub in the middle of one of those storms.
Another reason flights may be canceled is mechanical problems.
If this is the case, you WANT them to cancel.
Or it could be canceled because there have been delays and now the crew has been waiting for too long. There are rules about when they can fly and when they can’t.
If your flight is canceled, the second you hear that your plane is not going anywhere, call the airline's toll-free number.
(It’s a really smart idea to have it programed in your cell phone.)
Get into the line at the counter, especially if it’s fairly short...
...but make that call while you’re standing in line.
There’s a good possibility you’ll get re-booked more quickly on the phone than at the counter where a couple of overwhelmed airline employee are being swarmed by a plane full of disgruntled fliers.
Actually, it really pays to have an idea of alternatives before you get to the airport.
True, most times you won’t need to use the alternatives, but with canceled flights, the sooner you can act on those alternatives, the more apt you are to get on your way while everyone else is still looking them up.
Most airlines will rebook you, with no fees or penalties, on the next flight on which space is available.
Not necessarily on the next flight...
The next flight on which space is available.
During holiday periods or really bad weather situations, this could be more than just hours. If you seen the news the last few years, you know it can even be days!
If the wait seems too long, ask the agent if there might be a seat on another airline.
Remember they are in competition, but airlines will often endorse your ticket to another carrier to try and get you on your way in a timely fashion.
You'll have the most luck if the flight is on a partner airline.
If these things don't work, suggest solving your flight problem by connecting through another city or going to another airport.
Remember, all of these suggestions only work if your canceled flight is pretty much an isolated situation.
If all the airlines are canceling flights as they must in bad weather....
Patience is the only thing that will work.
We always suggest that you allow plenty of time... even arrive a day early if you absolutely must be at your destination for an event or the start of a cruise or tour.
No one can predict bad weather or mechanicals.
By arriving early, you'll have time to rest and you'll be less stressed.... and if you have to deal with canceled flights, you'll still be on time.