Anyone who travels by plane accepts that there is a risk involved. And no, I’m not talking about the dangers of flying; I mean the fact that your plane may not actually fly at all. If you’ve found yourself with your head in your hands, faced with a flight cancellation, you know what I’m talking about. Of course, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s certainly stressful and frustrating. Will you make it to your destination at all? Are you going to miss that important family event, or the meeting of your career? Here are some tips to ease your stress and help you deal with the situation at hand.
This may be easier said than done, but it’s really important. There’s a solution to everything, including being stuck at the airport. Of course, take a minute or two to silently scream (you are in an airport after all; don’t get arrested), have a mini pity party and ask, “why me?”, then take a seat and a long, deep breath. Once you’ve calmed down, you can think logically about the situation.
PICK UP THE PHONE
It always helps to talk. If you’re meant to be flying to meet someone, let them know the situation, so at least they’re not left in the dark. The last thing you need is someone fretting about you; you can do that all by yourself. Another good reason to chat to someone is they may have some advice or be able to give you a hand. At the very least, they’ll help you see the funny side of the situation and cheer you up.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
This sounds daunting, but it really isn’t. Let’s be honest; you don’t have much else going on at the moment. You may as well take a look and see if you can get compensated for the cancellation. Most airports these days have Wi-Fi if you don’t have data on your phone, so check online what you’re entitled to. Depending on the flight route, distance and when you found out it was cancelled you can get up to €600 (not bad)! It will only take a few minutes to figure out what’s available to you.
Once you have a clearer idea of your passenger rights, don’t be afraid to approach the airline staff. In terms of compensation, you won’t be fed a handful of cash then and there, but there are services the airline should provide you with. Always remember, the cancellation wasn’t the staff’s fault and there’s no need to raise your voice or be aggressive. Be friendly and you’re far more likely to get the answers you’re looking for.
DO SOME (WINDOW) SHOPPING
You might be in the airport for hours; why not take a stroll around and see what’s going on? You don’t even have to spend anything. Meander through duty free and you’ll stumble across some free samples here and there. Try the tester of a ridiculously out-of-your-price-range perfume, or have a giggle at some cheesy souvenirs…it doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s distracting you from your flight woes.
GRAB A BITE
… or a cocktail! Yes, we all know airports are notorious for making everything way overpriced, but you have to eat! For one, if things get worse and you can’t catch a flight until the next day, you’ll need the energy. Think of it this way: don’t you deserve a treat after all you’ve been through? Go to that café and tuck into a piece of cake, get comfy in the gastropub with a plate of piping hot food, or try some local cuisine. You’ll feel better for it, mentally as well as physically.