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28/01/2009 – Get Rebooked Quickly & Easily When On A Delayed Or Cancelled Flight
This winter, like many winters before, has forced travellers to deal with unexpected delays, cancelled flights, rerouted flights and ‘unforeseen’ weather affecting their travel plans.
While I have discussed this topic in the past on Flying With Fish, with weather patterns affecting travelers across the United States over the past week, this seems like a good time to briefly revisit this topic.
Whenever a flight is significantly delayed or cancelled there is always a rush to be the first people in line at the gate-area counter. With a planeload of passengers vying for limited rebooking seats this process is slow and irritating. This process is not only frustrating for the passengers, but the airline personnel as well. Delayed passengers tend to be angry and take their frustration out on the airline gate agents and this further slows down the process.
Should you be on a significantly delayed flight or a cancelled flight you have options to reduce your stress, have a higher likely hood of a favourable rebooking and can also save yourself the irritation of standing in line only to be told “There are no more connections tonight from Detroit to Portland.”
So what can you do? You can always make sure you have the following information with you
1) Always have the phone number to the airline you are flying with handy. If the airline has multiple phone numbers, find them and fly with them. The less time you spend fumbling for this basic information, the more likely you are to get yourself traveling again.
2) Alternate travel options for both your airline and their airline alliance partners, or code-share partners on the route you need to fly. You can get his information easily on the airline’s web site, the website of their airline alliance or other online airline reservations sites. Knowing your options will save both you and the airline you are working with a lot of time and legwork.
3) Always have the itinerary of your current travel information. This information needs to include not only your intended flights, but also your PNR/Record Locator. This information is found on every airline reservation, and is emailed to you even when you book through sites such as Travelocity & Expedia.
With this information you can skip the long angry line of passengers and find a quiet place to sit down, call the airline, endure the irritating hold music and wait for an agent to rebook you on the phone. Very often agents on the phone have more options to help displaced travelers and if you are calm, polite and patient they are also often able to compensate you with a few extra frequent flyer miles if you are a member of their frequent flyer program.