My Flight was Canceled or Delayed What Are my Options?
If your flight was canceled or delayed this year, you are most definitely not alone! 2022 has seen US travelers facing airport nightmares on an epic scale. Airlines in America have canceled over 21,000 flights since Memorial Day. That's a hell of a lot of travelers who are being stranded, missing important meetings, or having to rearrange their vacation travel plans!
If you are one of the unlucky flyers whose flight was canceled or delayed, you will undoubtedly want to know what your options are in terms of getting to where you want to go. Read below for your tips on what to do if your flight was canceled or delayed.
How do you find out if your flight has been canceled or delayed?
Given the current state of chaos in US Airports, you need to make sure you start keeping an eye on the status of your flight ahead of time. The sooner you discover that your flight has been canceled or delayed, the sooner you can start working to resolve the situation.
Thankfully there are some great sites you can use to track the status of your flight such as Flight Aware or Flight View. These sites give you both real-time and predictive updates on your booked flight, so you can discover if the airline cancels or the flight is delayed before you leave for the airport. You can check up to 24 hours before your departure date, so this is a terrific way to allow you to track the probability of being able to get on your flight.
Alternatively, you could turn to updates from the airlines themselves by using the airline's apps such as those for American Airlines or Delta. Although for the most up-to-date information it is probably better to turn to an independent tracker such as those detailed above.
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When Should You Arrive at The Airport if Your Flight Has Been Delayed?
This is one of the most difficult things to judge. If according to your flight status tracking app, your booked flight is on time, then head to the airport according to your original plan. However, if you are facing a delay, you may not want to arrive at the airport any earlier than you need to.
No one relishes the prospect of standing around in an airport for hours, clutching your boarding pass, and counting down the hours! But choosing to delay your departure from your home may end up being a regretful choice. It is possible that delays may change, projected wait times improve, and the airline may make new arrangements so that your flight will leave sooner.
If you get a sudden update on the app that your departure time is now sooner and you are nowhere near the airport, you might not be able to get there in time. So, play it safe and make sure to leave for the airport at and around the time you were planning to originally.
If you are a member of the airline's frequent flyer program, you may have access to their lounge so you can wait it out in relative comfort! Plus. by leaving at your original time, you will be placing yourself in the best position to get access to Stand-By Flights!
What Should You Do If You Think Your Flight may be Delayed Due to Bad Weather?
If you start to see reports of upcoming storms and disruptive weather on or around the departure date, make sure to check your flight apps to keep an eye on how your flight is being affected. Consider whether you can change the date on tickets purchased and leave before the projected weather hits.
Alternatively, you can choose not to travel until after the weather has passed, before you decide this, ensure you are up to date on the airline's re-booking policies. You should always try to make sure that you have purchased a refundable ticket to ensure flexibility in your choices.
What to Do If Your Flight Is Cancelled?
If your flight is canceled there will be two things on your mind: How do you get to where you are going? Can you get a full refund on your ticket purchase price?
You first step should be to check with your airline if there are any alternative flights available, withe r with them or other airlines. You will need to be aware that this may involve extra costs. If you have booked with a budget airline, it may be difficult to find another airline that is offering the same flight for a comparable price.
If the airline representative is unable to help, don't leave it at that. Sit down with your phone and do your own search as well, they may have missed something. You may be able to rebook a flight and offset at least some of the cost when you request a refund from your original flight carrier or have the difference covered by your travel insurance. You may need to face the unfortunate fact that you will have to face some extra expenditure if you are to get to your destination on time, (or even remotely on time).
Can You Stay Near the Airport?
If you have just been informed of a canceled flight or are facing a substantial flight delay. You may be facing a long stretch being stranded at the airport. Local hotels and motels will fill up fats in this
situation and it will be a race to the hotel customer service desk. As soon as you discover that you are facing a long wait and do not want to face the prospect of sleeping in the airport, do a Google search for the nearest available options.
If you are a member of certain credit cards, frequent flyers, and travel reward schemes you may find that some of the points you have built up can go towards paying for your hotel room!
How do you Get a Refund When Your Flight is Canceled?
If your flight is canceled, then you need to start the process of getting a refund for your ticket. Do not allow the airline to fob you off with assurances of credit or vouchers. You may never end up using them and this may end up being about as helpful as no refund at all.
Make sure that you are aware of your rights. If your airline has canceled the flight, then you are entitled to a refund according to Federal Law. You are also entitled to a refund if you have had to cancel due to a substantial flight delay. Although there may be contention between what customers and airlines consider a substantial delay!
The easiest way to get a refund for your flight will probably be to log onto the airline's website or use their app. The process is usually quite intuitive, and this will be the quickest method for getting the issue sorted quickly.
if you run into trouble on the website or app, then you can contact the airline customer service agents to arrange your ticket refund, although this may be a protracted process as you battle for their attention with your other frustrated travelers.
What Should You Do if the Airline Refuses to Refund Your Ticket after your flight is delayed or canceled?
If the airline is refusing to refund your ticket, then first make sure that they are aware that you know your rights! As long as you have not bought a non-refundable ticket, you are entitled to a refund on a flight the airline has canceled, or a flight you have had to cancel due to a significant delay.
Likewise, if you have purchased your ticket through a travel agency, you are entitled to a refund. If either the airline or your travel agent is refusing to refund your payment, then you should make a complaint to the Department of Transport.
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