This year, tourists attempting to leave the country have faced extreme chaos at airports, resulting in flight delays and cancellations. As these issues are expected to persist throughout the summer, the travel experts at Airport Parking Reservations have compiled their best advice for dealing with flight delays.
Invest in travel insurance
The experts advise purchasing travel insurance that protects against travel delays. In the United Kingdom, airlines are required to care for customers after a specific period of delay, although the majority of travel insurance packages offer supplementary coverage for travel uncertainty. Additional coverage typically applies if a flight is delayed for more than 12 hours due to a strike, inclement weather, or mechanical failure.
Keep expenses receipts
Receipts for airport purchases should be retained, since travelers may later seek reimbursement from their airline. For travel delay coverage, a fixed benefit form must be filled out to help cover expenses such as food and drink during airport queues. However, airlines only reimburse for reasonable charges and are unlikely to reimburse for alcohol, lavish dinners, or luxurious accommodations.
Be prepared for delays
Due to the airline confusion, some passengers have been delayed for days; thus, you should arrive with a change of clothes, snacks, phone chargers, toiletries, and entertainment. Passengers may also wish to bring an eye mask or earplugs in order to rest during delays.
Explore the airport
Those who are unable to depart the airport due to a short delay could spend time enjoying the airport’s services. Some airports offer spas, beauty shops, and even movie theatres to pass the time.
Know your passenger rights
If a flight is delayed, travelers may be entitled to compensation or a refund; therefore, it is advantageous to familiarise oneself with passenger rights. If a flight is delayed by more than a predetermined length of time – two hours for flights less than 1500 km, three hours for flights between 1500 km and 3500 km, and four hours for flights beyond 3500 km – the airline has a responsibility to care for the passengers.
Prior to arrival at the airport, it is prudent to review the airline’s terms and conditions regarding flight delays occurring outside the EU. When flights are delayed or canceled, airlines are not compelled to reimburse customers in the United States.
Contact the airline’s customer service
Immediately upon learning of their delay, travelers should contact the airline’s customer support department. Noting that aircraft delays outside of the airline’s control may impede compensation rights, it is best to verify the circumstances prior to filing a claim or making a complaint. Additionally, the customer service personnel should be prepared to provide direction on the urgent procedures available to handle any flight-related inquiries.