11 Hacks for Flight Delays
Flight delays and cancellations happen all year long, not just in winter. The first thing to do is to call your travel agent if you reserved your flight with one. They can see all of the flights and the status of available flights. Chances are that they can get you on another flight quickly. If you are on your own without the aid of an agent, utilize these hacks to make sure you are not stuck. Whatever you do, do not go up to the gate agents at the airport with the crush of other passengers trying to get on other flights. Try these strategies to avoid delays or outsmart them.
- Download a flight status app or sign up for flight notification when you make your reservation. That way you will know the situation before you leave for the airport. Airlines give you a choice, sometimes as much as 24 hours to get notifications before your flight departs. In any case don't leave home without checking your flight status.
- When you make your reservation, do not reserve the first or last flight out. First flights get cancelled the most frequently and last flights have the most chance of being backed up for several hours.
- Take carry-on only if at all possible. That way you can fly into an alternative nearby airport and not be bound to where your checked baggage goes.
- Take nonstop flights whenever possible. Your chances of getting delayed landing and taking off at a connecting airport are exceedingly high.
- Once you know your flight will be delayed whether you are still at home or at the airport, use the international number listed on the airline website to bypass all the calls jammed up in queue on the toll-free line. The international numbers are staffed with agents that have the same ability to change your flight.
- While you are waiting on hold for an agent, check all other flights online on sites like Kayak or Expedia to see what flights may still be available.
- Once you get through to an agent, remember that they can change your flight to another airline. Their system accesses alternate airlines flight schedules. Just ask them to book you on the next flight available on any airline.
- Use a site like Flightaware or Flightstats to see the status of your flight and other flights to your exact destination and alternative nearby destinations.
- Go to an airline lounge where you can relax, have free wifi, get something to eat, shower, watch a movie or get a massage. If you are not a member, you can still get access by paying the one-day use fee.
- Check your specific flight's on time performance by Googling the flight number.
- Try not to fly on Monday morning or Friday afternoon when flights and airports get the most amount of traffic.