Flight delays are unfortunately very common. While we all hope that our travel arrangements will run smoothly and that we’ll have an enjoyable journey, most of us have at some point been delayed. These delays can range from an hour or two stranded in an airport to full-day delays, or delays which mean we’re forced to consider alternative flights or finding accommodation for the night. These delays are hugely annoying and inconvenient. But there’s plenty that you can do to minimize disruption and pass the time. So, next time you are delayed, whether it’s a short or long wait, here are some tips to help you to deal with it.
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You need to have all of the information if you want to deal with the delay effectively. If it’s just a short delay, your best option is to wait. If the delay is going to be much longer, or you are traveling with a strict schedule, then you might need to make alternative arrangements. Before you travel, register your phone number or email address with the airline, and sign up for updates. You should also download their app, and make sure you can connect to Wi-Fi at the airport. If you are struggling to get any accurate information you might find that calling the airline directly is faster than queuing to speak to staff at the airport, along with everyone else on your flight.
Look for Alternatives
Airline staff, and especially those at the airport, won’t have the time or resources to search for the perfect alternative for everyone on your flight. As soon as you find out that you are going to be facing a long delay, start looking for your own alternatives, and present them with some options. Remember, the faster you act, the more options there will be open to you.
Be Calm and Polite
Being delayed is incredibly frustrating but being rude to airline staff won’t help. They’ll be far more like to accommodate your needs if you are calm and polite.
Check Your Credit Card Terms
If you paid for your flight with a credit card, you may be covered by the card’s flight delay insurance. This could mean that for delays of over four hours, you are entitled to $500 to spend on accommodation and food while you wait. The terms will be different depending on your card, so check as soon as possible.
Keep Yourself Occupied
Sometimes, a longer delay is easier to face because it means that you can check into a hotel or make alternative arrangements. If you are only going to be waiting for a few hours, you are stuck in the airport.
Make sure you vary how you spend your time and instead of wasting time on social media, try to keep your mind active with things like reading, and word games with help from an unscrambler for killing time while traveling.
Go for Regular Walks
You’ll be sitting down for a long time on the plane so try to get up and stretch your legs regularly while you are waiting. Go for short walks around the airport, and even do some simple stretches to boost your circulation.
If it’s an option, one of the best ways to ease the frustration of a delay is to treat yourself. Depending on the airport, you might be able to get a massage, your nails done, a cocktail or luxury meal, or just treat yourself to some shopping.
The most important thing to do as soon as you know your flight is delayed is to get as much information as you can. Find out how long the delay will be, so you can make a sensible decision on how to spend your time, then look for things to do, or alternative flights.