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WWYD Flight cancelled or extremely long delay.

It’s been in the headlines that a recent budget airline has had massive delays and usually subsequent cancellations for about a week now.

What would you do if this happened to you? I don’t fly much but I’ve been fortunate enough to never have more than 90 min delay due to weather.

If I was flying back home I wouldn’t care so much, but if i was flying to my vacation it’s tricky. A reckless part of me would just find another flight and pay it myself.

Posted by
6871 posts

A reckless part of me would just find another flight and pay it

Why? You really want to absorb the full cost of a contract with the airline? A ticket is a contract to get you from A to B, although not necessarily at the time of your choosing/ booking. The only rational response is to get on the phone and to rebook the flight using the next best alternative OR get your money fully refunded depending on what the airline considers a "massive" delay in its contract of carriage. If you don't show without cancelling (or rebooking) and get another ticket on your own, it's the same as flushing your money down the drain and not recouping any value from your original ticket.

I think everyone who has flown with any frequency has had to rebook a flight due to an unacceptable itinerary change or cancellation by the airline. It's standard practice.

Here's an article dedicated to your question:
"What to do about your upcoming flight as cancellations spike"

Posted by
3028 posts

I'm a low risk guy. Discount carriers add risk to a trip. I avoid them. The lack of redundancy in their schedules can significantly impact a trip. Most of the time things go well with discount carriers, but when things go badly, they tend to go really, really badly. See Sprint this week.

Posted by
5547 posts

If you are flying to your destination and you book another flight, then your return flight will be cancelled. If you are that concerned, book with a different airline initially. If I was flying at present, I would expect delays and cancellations if they didn’t happen, I would think myself lucky.

Posted by
13549 posts

A reckless part of me would just find another flight and pay it

Me too probably. But I've been tracking Turkish Air flights and they seem to be the exception in all of this mess. I used them in July, and will use them again in September and just not worry too much about it.

Posted by
354 posts

If you did that and your original flight was a return - you'd be deemed to have been a no show for the first flight and tne entire ticket including your return would be cancelled.

I live at least 8 hours flight time from anywhere except Australia. Things happen - normally weather or mechanical. I always give myself a margin particularly if I've booked separate tickets. I had a good deal on Akl-LAX return once on Air Tahiti - what was supposed to be a 40min stop in Tahiti turned into a 5 hour delay when they had an engine issue. Rebooking was a non-issue becaus there were no other flights (we arrived around 10pm). We finally to to LAX around 1pm rather than the scheduled 8am) our flight on to the east coast was not until the evening so we were fine - but I got the impression that many people missed connections

Posted by
5167 posts

Long delay or cancellation? I try to make the best of it.

My nature is to get upset when plans that I have carefully made are disrupted. I have to do quite a bit of “self talk” here to remind myself that being upset won’t change the situation and only make it worse for myself and any traveling companion.

I try to have “distractions” available like a movie downloaded on my IPad, remind myself that the situation is temporary, and look for a comfortable place to wait.

I am still a work in progress on this…….

Posted by
11251 posts

I have been in this situation numerous times. Here is what I do:

1) Stay calm.

2)Have a backup plan. Know if any other flights are going to where you are going even with another airline.

3) Treat the airline's agent with respect. He/She will probably be yelled at by other passengers so instead, commisserate with that person. I have been known to say "Wow, you're having a tough day aren't you?" (Wait for response). "I hope you can help me." You're commiserating and asking for help. Then suggest your back up plan. You'll be amazed how by just treating them nicely you might get what you want. They have more power than you think.

This doesn't always work but staying calm and treating the people who can help you with compassion and respect is always a better choice.

But the reality is.....while you might get good service in the air, ground personnel are less concerned. They are more worried about on time departures.

Posted by
13549 posts

If you did that and your original flight was a return - you'd be
deemed to have been a no show for the first flight and tne entire
ticket including your return would be cancelled.

I can't believe that would be true if you notify the airlines that you had to make your own arrangements due to their cancelation. Or at least that was my one case about 7 years ago.

Posted by
9716 posts

I've had this happen twice...both weather delays.

First time I was headed to FL in winter flying thru Atlanta and Delta had issued a travel waiver before I left. I knew going in there was a chance my flight would get cancelled but figured it would be best to get as close to FL as I could. I spent the night on the floor in the airport - bought a pillow and blanket and staked out a spot based on that "sleeping in airports" website.

Another time coming home from AZ thru SLC in winter my flight in to my local airport was cancelled for 2 days due to the home airport being completely fogged in. Since nearly everyone on the plane/s lived in that area of N. Idaho and was aware of the winter fog situation everyone just waited. The flight took off twice, turned around twice due to closures and finally on the 3rd time we made it. My back up plan if the plane didn't go on the 3rd day was to rent a car and drive the 600+ miles home. SkyWest also added a plane and two flew up and back to clear the number of passengers waiting to get out of both airports. I stayed in an airport hotel both nights and started carrying back up underwear after that, lol!! That was also a lesson not to pack my coat in winter (WHAT was I thinking!).

I also would be cautious about booking with a LCC especially if it was a high stakes flight with no margin for error.

Posted by
713 posts

It is not really as easy as just buying a new ticket. I have had significant delays and cancelled flights on several outbound flights to Europe. My advice is to book directly with the airlines and have an account so you can quickly monitor changes. If you have a cancelled flight, typically the major airlines have an automated system that will rebook you. Sometimes it will give you 2 or 3 flight itineraries to choose from. If nothing works for you, then contact an agent and they can override the system. Check for yourself what flight might be doable. Also, make sure you collect any papers (I also take a picture of the cancellation on the board or delay) for insurance purposes. I have had to claim twice and this has been helpful.

The only time that I would buy a new ticket would be if I was on my return journey and I had to get back fast or I had to change my flight and it was cheaper to get a new ticket. Banking airline points for a "raining day" is also a good idea. I once had to change a flight back from Europe. AA wanted $3,000 for me to do this. I Instead, I cancelled my return leg with the airline and used 40,000 points to get back to the US.