It’s the Holiday season, and for many of us, that means schlepping across the state, country, or planet to spend time with our loved ones. While Holiday Traffic is one thing, Holiday air travel is a whole different (expensive) affair, which often goes astray. Sometimes things happen – storms, acts of god, people not setting their alarm and starting a domino effect that sets the whole airline off by a few hours for part of the day – and we need to be prepared when these things happen, so here are 25 Useful Tips For When Airlines Mess Up Your Travel Plans.
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Find out why your travel plans have been changed.
Odds are you’ll know this, but just so we’re really clear, you have fewer options if your destination is in the middle of a record breaking ice storm than you do if, say, the airline overbooked your flight.
Find out if you've been re-booked.
Once you find out that your flight plans have been changed, go online to see if you’ve been automatically re-booked. Yep, it’s a thing some airlines do, particularly if you check in online.
Call Customer Service
If you weren’t automatically re-booked online, call customer service. Or heck, do this while you’re checking online because everyone else who was on that flight that you’re also not on is going to be calling customer service or fighting to speak with the gate attendant / airline representative.
Always be kind to any and all airline employees, regardless of your situation. They’re doing their best to help you. Their job is to help you. They did not create whatever situation it is that changes your plans, and odds are it’s just as stressful for them. Be patient, be kind. Screaming or cursing at them is just not okay, ever. We all, though, have the ability to be that person when we’re stressed and helpless. So no judgement, just a reminder.
Read the fine print.
Read the fine print that comes with your ticket ahead of time, so you’re prepared. Most airlines have slightly different policy for when things go wrong and what you can expect. These are usually found on an airline’s website under “Contract of Carriage.”