It’s finally here, the day of your much needed holiday with your wife, the first day of your backpacking trip around the world or maybe the day you get to visit your relatives abroad finally. You have hardly slept; your bag is packed at the bottom of your bed. You’ve been looking forward to this trip ever since you booked it months ago.
It’s time, you’ve had your shower, you’ve eaten your breakfast, and now you are in the taxi on the way to the airport. You walk through the departure doors and head to check-in. As you get closer, you see a group of angry-looking holiday-makers at the desk you need to check in at, you wonder what is going on. Then you see it, across the screens above check-in, in big red letters, FLIGHT CANCELLED. Your heart sinks, the kids are crying, day one of your trip has been ruined.
I hope you never have to go through that, but if, like me, you have dealt with that scenario, then you know how horrible it is. And if you are like me, I’m sure you want to know what the airline is going to do to compensate you. You have two options here, you either go and get legal advice or you take the airline on yourself. Either way, here is some guidance on what you should do immediately if your flight is canceled.
Know your rights
If your flight is canceled, your carrier has to provide you with a seat on the next available flight or a refund.
Check your credit card for cancellation protection
Lots of credit cards often come with trip interruption protection. This form of compensation will re-reimburse you if you are delayed for a certain amount of time. The only catch here is that you had to have booked the flights on your credit card, which is why we always advise booking holidays on your credit cards if possible.
Ask about meals and hotel credits
Most airlines will have a pot of money set aside for paying for delayed guests to be put up in a hotel with food credits if their flights are delayed or canceled. However, they often do not offer these out, so make sure you ask if the airline can put you up for the night if you are delayed for an extended period of time.
Use social media
One thing we have learned in recent years, customer service is always much more prompt and willing to help if you complain through social media channels. The airline does not want the bad negativity, so they will often go out of there way to sate the anger of customers ranting on their channels.
Hopefully, you will never have to use the tips here, but if you do find yourself delayed or canceled, you now have some pointers for dealing with the situation in the best way possible.