Your flight was cancelled… Now what?

Picture this – You’re at the airport, ready to go home when you’re told that it’s been cancelled. Now you’re standing alongside a group of others who were delivered similar news. You’re about 20 minutes from your hotel and you have no idea what to do. So, now what?

If you made any trips along the northeast coast this past winter, this may sound like a familiar tale. The multiple nor’easters and winter storms cancelled thousands of flights this winter, leaving many travelers stranded.

Even though we’re out of the winter months, we’re still dealing with cancelled flights due to factors like strikes, severe weather conditions and acts of God. In fact, all have taken place in the span of one week.

It’s important during these times to remain calm and remember what to do in the event of a flight cancellation.

Check cancellations before heading to the airport
Before you head over to the airport, you should always check your airline’s website. This removes any last-minute surprises. When you’re on the website, there should be an option to learn about your flight’s status either by flight number or route. All the information you need can be found on your airline ticket.

Contact your counselor immediately
Don’t be hesitant to contact your travel counselor if you experience a flight cancellation. The last thing you want to do is wait to get in touch with your agent. They can immediately get on their GDS system or their phones to see how they can alleviate the situation. At EWA Travel, counselors will do all they can to get you back on your flight to get to your next adventure.

Find out if you can be rebooked
Say you’re at the airport and you need to get on an airplane fast. Ask the person you’re speaking to if you’d be able to get rebooked onto another flight. In some cases, they will be able to help you onto another flight and on your way home.

Try the next available seat
“Most airline cancellation policies are built on the assumption that you really want to get you to your final destination as quickly as possible” (USA Today). For that reason, airlines will try to get you a seat on the next available flight, with no additional fees. This means that should they get you a seat in a higher class, you won’t be charged, but if you’re seated in a lower class, they’ll refund you the difference.

Check to see if there are any waivers out
Oftentimes, airlines post travel waivers online to inform travelers of what they can do, should their flights be cancelled. The waivers will include important information on rebooking and refunds. This can be very helpful before you head to the airport to stand in a long line, waiting to speak with an agent. You’ll also know your rights as a passenger, should it come it that.

Be patient
As stressful as cancellations can be, it’s important to be patient with both the airline and your travel counselor. As you can imagine, both are dealing with an increased number of clients and passengers that are attempting to do the same thing – get on their flights. Because of this, it can take some time to complete everything to each person’s satisfaction. As the saying goes, “Patience is key.”

Katlyn Pierre