I am a traveling wedding photographer (I love capturing destination weddings!!) and also an international traveler. As wonderful as traveling is, I have had my fair share of cancellations, mishaps, and flight delays. I am here to help you with a few things I’ve learned and share with you how you can get an opportunity to get up to $667 (600 EUR) per passenger for a delayed or cancelled flight within/from/to EU. –> Go here to find out how NOW!
Have you ever had your flight plans delay or canceled? What to do if your flight is delayed or cancelled?
When we think of travel we think about the glamour shots, the beaches, the cocktails,the excitement, the ADVENTURE. BUT we all know that travel isn’t always as glamorous as our lovely Instagram stories show. Sometimes, it sucks and you’re waiting, dealing with things completely out of your control. Instead of getting angrier and angrier, know your rights and what you can do to help yourself when in this situation.
Read on for my tips on what to do when you’re stuck at the airport due to a delay or cancellation.
Firstly, the Airport staff is NOT to blame- Be nice to them!
I repeat, the staff that is there to help you on the ground IS NOT TO BLAME for any delay or cancellation. It can be frustrating when they give you the runaround, and we all know they do :-|, but they likely don’t have any real idea why you’re flight isn’t on time. Then take into account that they now are dealing with angry and often rude, possibly even aggressive passengers when they really don’t have any real information. Just, be polite in your exchanges with them, they’re people too and it sucks dealing with tons of angry people.
When you’re nice, they’re more likely to give you the little information they probably have and sometimes even throw you a freebie here and there for your kindness towards them. However, be firm, don’t allow yourself to be the “nice” person who doesn’t speak up for themselves and gets pushed to the back of the queue. There are things you are entitled to, make sure you make that known in a polite, yet FIRM manner.
Delays less than 3 hours
Nothing you can do here unfortunately but wait. Go grab yourself a cocktail some magazines, make a phone call or my favorite? Find the nearest lounge and check in. Stay close to your gate because typically with the shorter delays you just have no idea when you’re going to leave, you want to make sure you’re also paying attention to the departure screens in the event of an update! Don’t miss your flight hanging out in the lounge. I have almost done this myself- don’t be like me LOL. Try to entertain yourself and take your mind off the wait, because you have to wait, there is nothing you can do about it and why sit around angry for hours?
Despite not actually being entitled to any financial reimbursement, on occasion they will provide the latter to calm angry patrons. It never hurts to ask, and when you’ve been nice to them, they’re more likely to say yes :-).
Have a connecting flight?
If the delay on your initial flight will cause you to miss your connecting flight let the gate agents know. This is their job and they will book you on an alternate flight. It may be with a different airline.
If your connection isn’t available the same day be sure to inquire about accommodation for the night. They will handle this as it is their fault. Don’t just book your own when you’re entitled to free accommodation.
Note: you’re only eligible for this if your journey is booked as one trip. If you book to one destination and then book again to another it doesn’t count. It needs to be leg of the same
Delays over 3 Hours / Cancellations
When this happens they will often provide refreshments / food vouchers and if your delay is overnight accommodation is given AND transportation to and from the airport. You need to make sure you inquire, as they don’t just announce that. Don’t let yourself get too worked up or angry that you just leave on your own to wait for your flight. When this occurs you’re typically entitled to some form of compensation in the EU.
If your flight is cancelled, the airline will typically do everything they can to book you on another flight – if that flight is not the same day they will usually offer you a hotel voucher. In many cases you’ll also receive a refund or airline voucher.
This is very important, typically you can file a claim for food and lodging if you’ve been delayed for more than 4 hours. This varies by insurance but your pockets will thank you when you get money back for all those cocktails ( I mean food …) you’ve downed while waiting. This will help with NON EU flights as well! I also implore you to get it travel insurance in the event of illness or injury. Travel is amazing, but it’s still life and shit still happens.
Are you eligible for flight compensation?
In accordance with EU Regulation 261/2004 a passenger is entitled to 250-600 euros of compensation in case of:
• Flight delay more than 3 hours
• Flight cancellation
• Denied boarding due to overbooking
• Missed connection due to a delay of the first segment (you arrived at your destination more than 3 hours later than planned)
The only requirement is that your disrupted flight needed to have happened up to six years back (depending on the country of departure)
– within the EU (on any airline)
– leaving the EU (on any airline)
– or arriving into EU (on EU airline)
Do you have any advice or experience with delayed or cancelled flights?
**This post was created in partnership with Compensair, who offer a free, no obligation flight check to see if you are owed compensation. By law, you could be owed up to €600 per person. Whether your flight was delayed, cancelled or you were refused boarding, the Compensair app could be telling you how much you’re owed within minutes.