If you haven’t had to deal with a flight delay yet, count yourself as very lucky, as it’s one of the biggest headaches at the exact time you’re looking for relaxation.
Airports are already quite intense, with the security and passport check queues, so the last thing you want is to be dealing with a delay, but if you are, here is what you need to know.
How Delayed Is Delayed?
The level of compensation you can claim back will largely depend on how heavily you are delayed. For example, if it’s up to 2 hours then you might not be able to make a claim, unless you’ve missed a connecting flight. However, most guarantee a pretty decent return over 3 hours.
It also depends how far you’re flying. Up to 1,500km on a plane, the rate tends to be £220, which is about as far as Budapest from London.
If you’re going between 1,500km to 3,500km, which is as far as Egypt from London, then this will increase to £350. For any other journey, it’s £260, but this will increase to £520 if the delay is longer than 4 hours.
It should also be stated that it’s how delayed you are landing in the new airport, so if the flight is further delayed in the air, this will also count.
If you need to arrange an airline delay compensation then there are a number of brilliant companies that can help with this procedure such as AirHelp.
What If I Don’t Take The Flight?
Well then that’s a very different picture. The Citizen’s Advice states that a full refund would be due for your flight, which you should receive within 7 days.
It’s imperative that you talk to someone in the airline as quickly as possible to make sure you take the appropriate actions, there may be a later flight they can switch you to or some options available to you such as a free hotel stay.
ABTA, the Association for British Travel Agencies, are always on-top of all the information you may need, while pushing travel agents and tour operators to a certain standard so you shouldn’t be out of pocket. This is why it’s good to check the company you’re booking with is ABTA verified, as the details they have to pass financially to qualify are quite strict, involving not making a loss.
Should I Check The Weather Beforehand?
Absolutely, especially if you’ve heard warnings about severe weather conditions. If you can find out beforehand about a potential hurricane or extreme weather, then you may be able to act quicker on delays and potential solutions.
Some brands will even offer waivers for an event such as a major weather situation, but all airlines are different.
You can get free alerts from airlines on your flights if you sign up, whether via email or SMS, which can be very useful before your flight, so you can spot it before leaving the house (potentially).
Be Nice To Staff
Beyond this being an obvious point, as they’re simply someone doing a job, it’s also very much worth it for you, as airline staff are more likely to help find a solution or sort you out with a better alternative plan if you’re not being irritable and short-tempered.
They’re able to help you, but also it can be worth you highlighting some options you’d be happy with. I’ve spoken to a number of people who have said ‘I’d be happy to stay in a hotel for the night and go tomorrow if you cover the hotel cost’ and they have agreed.
Try to also do some research on potential alternative flights that you could take. This could speed up the process and prevent any mistakes being made and also help them out a bit.
You can also try to call the airline’s customer service line rather than just waiting for someone in the airport to help, as they may have a shorter wait time for a response and could potentially arrange a new flight for you quite easily.