Flight Delayed & Stuck In The Airport (What You Can Do)
Updated: Aug 18
Traveling has always been a big part of my life, whether for work or pleasure. For the last year, I have been traveling throughout Europe in a new location every month. So as you can imagine, I’ve hit a few bumps in the road (air).
Recently, I was in Croatia with my husband and had to fly back to the US unexpectedly, as my mother was having surgery. I bought my ticket two weeks in advance to get me to the states in time for her surgery – or so I had hoped. Unfortunately, I was delayed all day on my layover in Rome, and ultimately my flight was cancelled.
This was particularly difficult for my travels because it meant missing my mother’s surgery. Fortunately, everything went smoothly with the surgery, but let me tell you, those hours in the airport not knowing the status of the flight, was nerve racking to say the least. My fellow travelers and I checked in frequently with the flight crew, only to hear there was no update. We sat and waited from 11am-4pm before they finally made the decision to cancel the flight.
During that time, I was so glad I had my computer fully charged, and my iPad ready to go with a good book. It helps to pass the time if you can keep busy. Others on my flight did not come so well prepared and I witnessed tensions and anxieties rising the longer we waited for news.
The unavoidable awfulness of Delayed Flights
I’m sure my story is like so many others. No one wants to ever hear that your flight has been canceled, especially when there is a family emergency. Whether your travel plans are for pleasure or business your hope is always for things to run as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, you just have no control over what happens at an airport or in the air.
6 Tips That Will Help You Deal With Your Flight Delay
So what can you do to ease that stress while you sit there with the other disgruntled passengers? I have a few tips for you:
1. Download the Airlines App
Before you fly, I highly recommend downloading the airline’s app to your smartphone, and signing up for flight alerts.
On a few occasions I’ve had information about delays before the flight attendants did. I find that a lot of the stress in these situations arises from not being able to get information. If we know what is going on, then we can make an informed decision on how to proceed.
We can decide if we wanted to take another flight, switch airlines or just wait it out.
It will ultimately all work out, and you’ll be on your way, getting worked up or angry won’t change the situation. Deep Breaths.
3. Be flexible
I know that’s a hard one, especially if there is something important on the other end of the flight path for you. Sometimes, it’s necessary to wait, if you can’t afford a new ticket on another airline, or there isn’t another flight headed to your destination. Be willing to do the research for other flight options, or make a night of it at the awesome airport hotel.
4. Stay the Night
If all is lost, throw in the towel and get yourself a room. Use an app like Hotel Tonight to grab room last minute.
5. Call the Airline
Often when your flight is cancelled on an international flight, it’s instant chaos when the announcement is made – everyone running to the desk to reschedule. Well I can tell you first hand that a lot of the time you’ll have to call the airline to reschedule. I highly recommend doing it right away! Do it while you are waiting at baggage to reclaim your things. Everyone else on that flight will be calling in as well, but most of them will wait until they are settled into their hotel rooms. Early bird gets the better rescheduled flight.
Deep breath - you got this.