Thanks to Covid, yet again, we’re seeing cancelled flights happening more and more.
Recently it was American Airlines as well as Southwest, that experienced a number of cancelled flights…..hundreds for American.
It’s likely that weather was part of the issue according to initial reports but staffing challenges, like we’re seeing in other areas, were more to blame.
According to some other reports, it appears that they’ll get ahead of this (we can all hope) for a better holiday travel season.
We’ve outlined some helpful tips to help you if you find yourself in a ‘Flights Cancelled’ situation because no flights, no vacation to your favorite all inclusive resort, like the new Check PricesMargaritaville Island Reserve Cap Cana or the newly renovated Check PricesSandals Royal Bahamian.
Flights Cancelled – Let’s get back to the tips:
- The first thing you should do is sign up for flight notifications with a flight tracker like FlightAware – the early bird gets the worm – so stay informed.
- And while we’re on the subject of travel apps – and we realize that we all have more apps than we’d like to count – BUT….by all means, get the airline app!
For example, I recently traveled to Costa Rica via American Airlines and their app got me the assistance I needed in a more expeditious manner.
My flight to Dallas was cancelled due to weather – sound familiar? I was rebooked on another flight – that was also cancelled and the app alerted me quite quickly. 3rd time is the charm, right? Getting rerouted through Miami worked out and again, the app alerted me quickly and I was able to get through to American’s help desk to make the changes.
- Plan on arriving at the airport 2-3 hours prior to your flight and 3 hours is currently best.
- If you’re at the airport, like so many of the passengers that went through the latest cancelled flight fiasco, go directly to your airline’s help desk (make it quick!) or you can (quickly) go online or to one of the kiosks to find a new flight.
If you’re not at the airport yet, go online or call the airline directly (and be prepared to be on hold for quite a while) – unless you have their app!
- Be flexible and be kind (it will get you a long way) – there will likely be alternates on the same airline or another carrier. You may want to consider looking into flying into a nearby city.
- Have a back-up plan. One way is to purchase flights on a different airline even if connecting flights, and by all means, be sure you check the cancel policy as you may end up with a credit. If so, you can use for a future trip. If you are within 24-hours of booking the back-up flights, you may still be able to cancel them and get a refund.
- Consider purchasing Check Pricestravel insurance – in most cases you can do this when you’re purchasing your flights.
- One more time…Be kind, courteous and respectful to airline personnel.
- Do all possible to travel with a carry-on only (no checked luggage) as it will allow for more flexibility if your flights are cancelled.
- Cancel, Rebook, and Start Over. This is something you’re more likely to do should there be a change/cancellation well in advance of your travel dates.
Sometimes a refund is the best answer for ‘major’ schedule changes and be sure to know your passenger rights.
A major schedule change, for example, could be that you had nonstop flights and they were changed to connecting flights. In this case you can either accept the change, look into other flights with your carrier, or cancel and start over.
Update: American Airlines just announced “Prepared for the Air” and you can review all details to help with your travel plans as it also includes health and travel restrictions.
With some of the tips noted above you’ll have the tools to research your best options and formulate a back-up plan even if you choose to wait for a ticket agent to assist you. If your flight is delayed, it may still be your best option, so patience is key (and you can ask the airline for a meal voucher if a long delay). In some cases you might find yourself having to stay over in your connecting city so be sure you have a list of hotel options – again, your back-up plan.