In recent trips, we haven’t had the best of
luck with flight delays and cancellations seeming to follow us around. A spell
of bad luck has however meant, that we have become pros at how to handle any departure
dramas, so I’ve put together my top tips for handling a cancelled flight and getting your hands on flight delay compensation you’re entitled to.
1. Get ahead of the game
Whenever you are taking a
flight, I would always advise checking in as early as possible. For most
airlines this will be 24 hours before you fly, but in some cases, for example
if you are part of a loyalty scheme, it could be even earlier.
Not only does
this mean you give yourself the chance of getting the best seats but it also
means if there are any cancellations you will know about it first. We found out
our flight was cancelled from Bali to Doha as it had disappeared from our
schedule when we tried to check in from the hotel the day before – if we hadn’t
we wouldn’t have found out until we got to the airport. The flight we
actually took ended up being 9 hours later so by checking in (or trying to
check in) earlier we saved ourself the hassle of having to wait around at the
airport for all that time.
2. Be mobile
If flight cancellations do arise
and you are already at departures, all of the airlines’ advice will be telling
you to head to the customer advisor desks for assistance – where you will
likely be met by a pretty lengthy que.
A better option is to try and find a
resolution using your phone. Some airlines, such as Easyjet will let you rebook
cancelled flights straight from their app and if that’s not possible you are
still better off calling up the customer service line and speaking to someone
there as they will be able to help you much faster, plus you can do it sitting
in a comfy coffee shop with a latte in hand.
3. Check your insurance
In some cases the
alternative flights the airline is offering you aren’t convenient for your
schedule and although on occasion an airline is willing to put you on a flight
with another carrier this is very rarely the case.
If this happens, it’s best
to check the details of your insurance to know where you stand. When Easyjet
cancelled our flight to Berlin on the 30th December, the only
flights they were offering us were due to arrive post New Year’s Eve, which was
the whole point we were going. So instead we accepted a full refund from
Easyjet and booked another flight through Norweigan Air to Berlin for the early
hours of the 31st. Our insurance then covered the difference between
the refund and the new flight which we had to book. This won’t necessarily be
the case with all insurers but it is always a good idea to get in touch with
them to find out what they could offer.
4. Be flexible
If there are lots of
flights cancelled, for example in bad weather, this obviously means there will
be lots of people trying to rebook, so being flexible will really help you get
to your desired place as quickly as possible.
Offering to fly from other
UK airports is always a good idea – as everyone will be trying to find other
flights from the airport where the flight was originally cancelled. Why not
take advantage of friends you have in other cities and book an early morning
flight from there? When we were struggling to rebook cancelled flights from
London for a few days due to fog – we instead booked flights early the next
morning from Birmingham and stayed with my mum and dad, meaning we didn’t have
the hassle of trying to claim back hotels.
It is also helpful if you
can offer to take alternative routes, for example a route with an additional or
alternative change to the one you were supposed to take.
5. Get what you’re owed
Once your trip is done and
you are back home, now is the time to worry about getting back any money you
are owed. Under EU regulation (take advantage while you can!) you are entitled
to a sum of £509 if your flight arrives at its destination over three hours
late and even if you are flying outside of the EU – airlines are usually
willing to offer some form of compensation if you have been significantly
Money Saving Expert’s
website Resolver is a god send for taking the pain out of complaining, giving
you a simple to use guide which tells you your rights for each airline and
also handles the process of complaining for you.
Have you got any tips for how to handle cancelled flights? Or have you had a flight cancellation drama? Let me know in the comments below!
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