Have you ever been faced with flight delays or cancellations? This is a major concern for many travellers, as it tends to affect their itinerary. Whether you are travelling for business or leisure, there is very little you can do to change the outcome of a delayed or cancelled flight. However, if you find yourself in such a situation, here are a few things you can do.
Know the Reason Behind the Disruption
There are several reasons why a flight could get delayed or cancelled. Some of the most common reasons include bad weather conditions, bird or staff strikes, mechanical issues, security threats, knock-on effects due to a delayed flight, waiting for connecting passengers or crew, and air traffic control restrictions, among others. These reasons may or may not be within the airline’s control. The airline will likely notify you of the reason behind the disruption but you can also contact them directly to be informed. It’s important to know the reason, as it can also be a determinant of whether or not you get compensated for the flight disruption.
Know Your Passenger Rights
The EU regulation 261/2004 protects the rights of passengers in cases of flight delays, flight cancellations, overbooking, or denied booking. This law applies to passengers flying from an EU airport or landing in one, provided the airline is headquartered in the EU. It applies to you as long as you have a valid booking ticket and you’re not flying on free or discounted tickets unavailable to the public. Under this regulation, you may be entitled to monetary compensation between €250 and €600 depending on the flight distance. You are also entitled to complimentary food and drinks for a delay of over two hours. If you have been delayed for more than 5 hours, you can reschedule your flight or book another flight, at no cost to you.
Ask for a Lounge Pass
If your flight has been delayed, you can ask for a lounge pass to make your wait more comfortable. While most airlines would freely grant you a pass, it’s always best to still ask politely. Access to the lounge will grant you access to free WiFi, food and drinks, and a comfortable place to sit and wait. This is still within your rights under the EC regulation 261/2004.
Find Something to Kill Time
Flight disruptions can be frustrating but you can still make the most of it by entertaining yourself. For long flight delays, you can use that time to catch up on work or just walk around and visit stores in the airport. Grab a book if you can or start documenting your travel experience. This will make the wait less frustrating and you can still have a good time when your flight eventually takes off.
Flight delays and cancellations are almost inevitable at this point but you can still work around them to ensure you’re not completely at a loss. The points highlighted above can help you if you are ever faced with such. Also, the EU regulations on delayed flights protect your rights as an air passenger.