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  • Stop Delay
    March 06, 2024

    Key Tips for Travelers During Flight Delays: What You Should Know and Do

    Flight delays can happen at any time, and if you are a traveller on a schedule, it can throw you off. This is especially the case when travelling for business or for a very short time, requiring you to respect tight hours. The worst part is that if the delay is significant enough, it can cause you to miss a connecting flight, something that happens to up to 8% of air passengers

    With that in mind, a prepared traveller can conquer the world if they know exactly what steps to take. Should you experience flight delays, here are some things you might want to remember and do.

    Keep an Eye for Updates

    Nowadays, everything is already online somewhere. Airlines, like almost every other form of transportation, will show real-time locations and delays of the plane so that you know exactly when to expect it. By checking the status, you’ll know not to go to the airport ahead of time for no reason. For instance, if the flight is delayed for two hours, maybe you can go grab lunch before heading to the airport.

    man at airprot

    man at airprot

    Know Your Rights

    When you experience a flight delay, you have certain rights that the airline must respect. These regulations often depend on how late the plane is, regardless of its cause. For example, if there is a delay between two and five hours, the airline must give you a free meal. For anything longer than that, you need to be notified 24 hours ahead so that you can get a refund or potentially arrange for different transportation. Air delay compensation could also be provided, depending on the case.

    Contact the Airline

    Should you experience a delay or even suspect it, the first thing you should do is get in contact with the airline. This is to make sure that the app or website you checked on did not show an error, which could potentially cause you to miss a flight. In case the delay is accurate and ruins your plans, then you can discuss alternative options. If it takes longer than a few hours and forces you to stay the night, you could talk to the airline representatives about accommodation. 

    man in airport looking at flight schedule bulletin board

    man in airport looking at flight schedule bulletin board

    Opt for Flight Claim Compensation

    Airlines don’t want you to know this, but if you experience these inconveniences during a flight and it’s the airline’s fault, you can be eligible for compensation. This might also be your case since almost half the delays are their responsibility. For instance, if you land in the European Union, you are protected under the EC261/2004. This means that depending on the flight delay and the distance, you can get up to 600 EUR in plane delay compensation. 

    Distance

    Amount (EUR)

    Time Activation

    Less than 1,500 km

    250 EUR

    3 hours

    1,500-3,500 km

    400 EUR

    3 hours

    More than 3,500 km

    600 EUR

    3 hours

    Bear in mind that to get the most out of your compensation, you might want to get someone who knows the law on your side. For this reason, working with a flight claim company could work in your interest, as they know how to get the most compensation for you. You should save the receipts for everything you bought during the delay (including meals and accommodation), as compensation could cover those extra expenses.

    man sitting on chair with feet on luggage

    man sitting on chair with feet on luggage

    Take Advantage of Airport Facilities

    Airports have all kinds of facilities that you can use. This can include shops, restaurants, entertainment areas, and even lounges where you can sit back and relax. Flights can be very tiresome, especially if they go over a long distance and you have jetlag to worry about.

    Some better-equipped airports even have sleeping pods that you can take advantage of or can direct you to a hotel. If you need to pay for the lounge fees from your budget because of the airline’s delay, you should save the receipts so that you can opt for flight claim compensation.

    Consider Rebooking

    Delays caused by airlines often happen because there is something wrong with the plane or other issues in their control. Should the delay be long, with the potential to disrupt your travel plans, you should check for rebooking options. You could get placed on another flight at no extra cost if that is a possibility. If there is nothing else you can do, then you’ll have to wait until the plane becomes available or cancel your trip altogether.

    The Bottom Line

    Flight delays can be an annoyance to everyone, especially when you are on a schedule. While it might seem like you have nothing else to do other than sit back and wait, you still have options. Stay updated, have a plan B, and learn as much about your rights as possible. And if you have to request compensation, you can always rely on StopDelay.