Ways to Deal With Flight Delays and Cancellations

Regardless if you’re flying for business or pleasure, delayed or canceled flights can cause stress to most travelers. Being in this situation often requires you to spend more money and put you off your schedule – there’s nothing fun about any of that, right?

And while there’s little you can do to change the outcome of a delayed or canceled flight, there are plenty of ways to deal with the situation. With the tips presented below, you can still have fun on your next trip, even if it’s delayed or canceled.

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Young woman waiting at airport, looking through the gate window

Know Your Rights

Do you know you’re eligible for compensation whenever your flight is delayed or canceled? Are you aware that you’re entitled to a certain amount of money once you’re in this situation? Knowing your rights as a passenger will help you get through flight delays and cancellations. 

Different airlines have different protocols when it comes to delayed or canceled flight compensations and refunds. For instance, the amount you can earn from United Airlines flight delay compensation may vary from Eurowings flight delay compensation, so make sure to research the airline you’re flying with.

When you know your rights as a passenger, you can avoid being taken advantage of and control your out-of-pocket expenses. These can help pacify the situation and minimize your stress.

Check-in Online

Nowadays, you don’t have to fall in line at the airport to check-in. You can do that using the airline’s app or website. In fact, airlines encourage passengers to check-in days or weeks ahead before the scheduled flight, depending if you’re flying international or domestic.

Checking in online also helps you deal with flight cancellations and delays, as you’ll get real-time updates about your flights. Once you’ve checked in online, you’ll receive updates on the status of your flight even before you leave for the airport. This enables you to plan accordingly. 

For instance, if you receive an update days ahead that your flight is delayed or canceled, you can look for another flight immediately. This ensures you can stick to your original itinerary and get on a plane even if your first flight was delayed or canceled.

Positive attractive businesswoman with wired headphones on neck sitting with crossed legs on floor and working with laptop while waiting for boarding plane

Pack Light

Waiting for your checked baggage at the airport can be stressful, especially if the flight you were on was delayed and you were running late for a connecting flight. You’ll likely have to run around the airport to catch your next flight – an experience that can ruin your mood for your trip.

To make things easier, bring carry-on luggage only (Delsey is my recommendation.). It’d be easier to catch your next flight even if your first flight was canceled when you pack light. Besides, there are plenty of roomy yet small suitcases available today and folding hacks which you can use. 

Call the Airline

Airlines may not always be ready and happy to help when flights are canceled, but they are obligated to serve the customer. With this in mind, have the airline’s contact number ready and call them the moment your flight is delayed. 

There will be a long queue for passengers who want to rebook after a canceled flight. You’ll have better chances of hopping on another flight when you call the airline while waiting for your turn at the airport. 

Another way to work with the airlines is on Twitter, the airlines have teams that monitor this social media channel and can often help you service faster than a call!

Sad (tired) woman sitting in the airport - missed or cancelled flight

Ask For a Lounge Pass

Finding out that your flight has been delayed or canceled and not finding any place to relax as you wait on your next flight is a nightmare. Sitting in the airport for hours can get uncomfortable, especially if the airport is packed. 

Wait for your next flight in comfort by asking for a lounge pass from the airline. After knowing your flight is canceled or delayed, approach any staff from the airline and ask for a lounge pass. Lounges are more comfortable than airport seats because they have luxurious seats and a wide variety of foods and drinks. 

Lounges also offer free Wi-Fi, perfect for keeping yourself entertained as you wait for your next flight. 

woman in airport lounge

Don’t Plan Activities on Your Arrival Day

You’ll never know what could happen on the day of your flight, so stay on the safe side and never plan activities. If you’re expecting to arrive at your destination Friday afternoon, plan activities on Saturday. This will enable you to stick to your itinerary and avoid wasting money (from the accommodation, tours, and many others) even if your flight is canceled or delayed. 

For your own peace of mind, leave the day you fly free of activities. When you don’t have anything lined up on your arrival day, you can better focus on rebooking another flight and still have time to enjoy your trip! 

Change Your Perspective

Flight delays and cancellations are usually out of your control. So instead of stressing about the situation, it’s best to look for ways to deal with it. Having another perspective will help lessen your stress, allowing you to enjoy your trip even if it was canceled or delayed!   

Beautiful young caucasian girl in dress and hat sits on floor tourist rug inside terminal airport terminal

How about you? Do you have additional tips for handling flight delays and cancellations? Do tell!

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  1. Good tips. Especially the one about not scheduling activities on your arrival day, which we tend to do!

  2. Amber Myers says:

    I hate when this happens. It can be frustrating. It’s why we couldn’t make it to Europe over the summer!

  3. Melanie E says:

    This is all good advice although wee all hope it won’t happen to us. It can help not to plan things on the first day.

  4. tara pittman says:

    Delays are no fun. These are good tips to remember.

  5. These are all really good to know. I have never been on a plane yet, so I like to know all before I do go one day.

  6. Whenever traveling we always have our landing day as our rest day. Anything can happen, plus we’re all usually tired.

  7. These are great tips that I’ll share with my daughter and her wife. They are flying in to visit us in two weeks. (Although, hopefully, they won’t experience any delays or cancelations!)

  8. Acupofassamtea says:

    Those are such wonderful and helpful tips. We often got frustrated when flights are late or delayed and knowing what to do right time makes it surely easier.

  9. Richelle Milar says:

    This is a really helpful and very informative post! Thanks for these tips!

  10. IceCreamnStickyFingers says:

    These are great tips. Arriving to the airport to find out your flight is cancelled is annoying. This happened to my brother one year when he came to visit me and my family in North Carolina.

  11. These are excellent tips I will keep in mind when we travel on our next vacation.

  12. Beautiful Touches says:

    Definitely good tips on how to deal with the unexpected while flying. Knowing our rights is certainly the most important step!

  13. I didn’t know about most of this. I don’t fly much anymore but when I start back going on business trips this will be very helpful.

  14. This is such a frustrating thing! It is good to have some strategies to cope.

  15. Fortunately for us, we haven’t experienced dealing with delays and cancellations and hopefully we don’t get to experience it. 🙂 But thanks for the tips!

  16. Marie Gizelle says:

    Yes, it’s always wise to read the fine print/terms so you know what to do about untoward incidents…It’s also good to get an insurance just in case. Thanks for all the tips here!