5 Tips for handling a cancelled flight

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5 Tips For Handling A Cancelled Flight

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 delayed.
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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5 Tips For Cancelled Flights

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