Flying makes traveling a great deal faster and more efficient than it ever has been. Even though, it is one of the best ways to get between far distances, there can be hiccups and plans do not always go according to plan. Flights are delayed for a variety of reasons ranging from weather to staff shortages to mechanical malfunctions to a plethora of other reasons. These delays can be an inconvenience and frustrating to deal with. However, most stressful of delays is an overnight delay when you are in a new and unfamiliar city.
You should know your rights. If your flight is delayed or cancelled, you are entitled to being rebooked or refunded. Make sure to read the airline’s policies and fine prints. Depending on the airline, you are entitled to different services depending on the conditions of the delay.
The very first thing you need to do when your flight has been delayed is go straight to the airline’s help desk. Make sure to to approach the airline’s staff as calmly and politely as possible. Anger and frustration are understandable in this situation, but the kinder you are the better service you tend to receive. Airport staff are often swamped especially during a delay. It is also important to note that you never want to leave the airport without re-booking your flight because you could be marked as a no-show and lose eligibility for compensation or re-booking.
If you used a credit card to book your flight, you might qualify for trip delay protection. Some credit cards offer this depending on the circumstances of the delay so make sure to check!
Just remember, there is nothing you can do about a delay. It is an inconvenience, but they do happen to even the most experienced travelers.
After you have officially been re-booked or refunded, the next thing you should do is ask the help desk for food or accommodation vouchers. Travelers are often entitled to drink or meal vouchers when the delay is longer than a set amount of time. When you’re delayed overnight, you should definitely inquire about accommodations. Many airlines will place their customers in a hotel during an overnight delay depending on the circumstances surrounding the delay.
Lastly, turning to social media can help. It sounds odd, but Twitter can be your friend. Social media is public, and airlines want to keep their customers happy. Turn to Twitter and let the airline know what is going on in a polite and respectful manner. They can often help faster than the airline staff at the airport.
Overnight delays are never in the plan. They can throw off travel plans. It is important to do your research and vet all your options. Never sign anything until you know you are getting the very best deal for the inconvenience the delay has caused you.