What to do if your flight is delayed or cancelled
Finally, the airport comes in to view. The flood of relief washed over you and the struggling to get out of the house with hyper kids, negotiating the busy roads and realising you left the favourite teddy at home all seem like a distant memory.
As you herd your energetic flock into the departures hall, you manage to catch a snippet of an announcement over the constant “when are we getting on the plane, can I have sweets, where’s teddy …?”
“Flight blah blah to blah blah has been delayed ….” you hear.
You bite your tongue as you flash a panicked glance at the other parents beside you.
First things first … please don’t travel without travel insurance. Always make sure it provides adequate cover for your needs.
If in doubt, ask! Not all policies or levels of cover are the same, for example, winter sports, diving, climbing etc have varying levels of risk assigned to them. They may need additional cover.
1. Don’t panic
If you are travelling with another adult, one of you take the children off to distract them. There is usually something to do at the airport that will keep the little ones occupied. Staying calm will help everyone.
2. Find the airline or tour operator representative for clarification on what steps you need to take next
Be nice, they are just doing their job and have probably had a lot of grief for something that is out of their control. Keep an eye on your emails and the boards for updates.
3. Once you know the status of your flight you will know what course of action to take
Depending on the circumstances you may be entitled to meal vouchers, an overnight at an airport hotel or a refund. Knowing your rights will enable you to beat the crowds.
4. Know your airline or travel providers policies on delays and cancellations
Take some time to read their terms and conditions before you leave the house. Unfortunately, delays and cancellations happen on a regular basis.
Arming yourself with all the information and phone numbers that you may need before you arrive at the airport and preparing a ‘plan B’ can mean the difference between you wandering around the airport like a headless chicken and knowing what you need to do.