Archive for July 19th, 2012

Top Five Tips for Handling Delayed and Cancelled Flights from Superflyers

We’ve all been there. Delayed and cancelled flights are part of the travel experience. We wanted to know what the most experienced travelers do in these situations, so we asked our community of Superflyers for actionable advice. Read what they have to say here:

If you have elite status(es), save the elite customer service phone number(s) in your phone. According to one traveler, it is often easier to get re-booked and even compensated through an elite call center agent. After all, the agent on the phone is focused on you, knows your history with the airline, and does not have to deal with multiple customers at once.

Know what you are entitled to and understand the compensation guidelines for the country you are in. For example, in the EU, airlines must follow the infamous Regulation 261/2004 whereby passengers are entitled to certain compensation (in most cases) that varies based on the duration of the delay or if the flight has been cancelled. Our advice is to use your smart phone to look up this information as needed.

If your delay is over a few hours (varies according to airline), ask for food vouchers and make new friends. You’ll be able to commiserate together and may even make a valuable business connection.
Know what your other flight options are. Sometimes, it is imperative that you get to your final destination as soon as possible for an important business meeting or to see your family. Sometimes the best option is to secure a spot on another airline as quickly as possible. Use to see other flights ranked based on where you have elite status and miles.

Always be courteous to the airline staff. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it will also make you stand out from the crowd of otherwise frustrated and sometimes obnoxious travelers. If and when the desk staff has discretion to compensate travelers and help them get on new flights, you will be remembered.