Tips on how to deal with flight delays this holiday season

As the world appears to have reached consensus that the pandemic is effectively over, people are returning to air travel en masse, overwhelming understaffed airports and airlines. The result, coupled with increasingly severe weather events, has been widespread flight delays and cancellations, a trend that has intensified throughout the year.

Airports anticipate their busiest holiday travel season since pre-COVID as people emerge from the pandemic and seek to reconnect with loved ones. With all the hustle and ongoing shortage of equipment and staff that still plagues the airline industry, there’s a greater chance you might be struggling with flight delays of your own during this end-of-the-year period.


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To help airline passengers overcome such challenges, the experts at Airport Parking Reservations have put together their top tips on what to do when your flight is delayed and how to keep yourself entertained during long airport waits.

Invest in travel insurance

With flight delays becoming more common, it’s more important than ever to plan your trip to the airport and allow extra time for issues like long queues at check-in and security. To deal with unforeseen circumstances, it’s a good idea to get travel insurance that covers delays and other travel uncertainties. Most policies provide additional coverage for flights delayed more than 12 hours due to a staff strike, adverse weather conditions or equipment failure.

Keep expense reports

Typically, travel delay coverage comes in the form of a fixed benefit to cover your expenses while you wait at the airport, including food and drink. Be sure to keep receipts from your airport purchases so you can make a claim with the . airline and will hopefully be reimbursed later. However, keep in mind that airlines only cover “reasonable” expenses, not things like alcohol, extravagant meals, or expensive hotels.

Know your passenger rights

If your flight is delayed you may be entitled to compensation or a refund, but you need to know what you’re entitled to if you’re hoping to claim it. For flights outside the UK or EU, passenger rights vary depending on the terms and conditions of each airline specified in the contract of carriage. It is therefore essential that you find out about the terms and conditions of your network operator. In the United States, airlines have no legal obligation to compensate customers whose flights are delayed or canceled.

Contact the airline’s customer service team

As soon as you learn that your flight will be delayed, contact the airline’s customer service. Representatives should be able to provide you with advice on immediate actions you may be able to take to resolve your issue. However, be aware that flight delays beyond the airline’s control can nullify your right to compensation. Therefore, before calling to complain or to request compensation, find out about the circumstances that caused your delay.

No panic!

Finding out that your flight is delayed is undoubtedly a very stressful and frustrating experience, as is waiting at the airport when the situation is beyond your control. But staying calm and trying to take these difficulties calmly is the best thing you can do for yourself and others, both mentally and emotionally. Make an effort to show empathy and be kind to those around you, who are most likely also distressed at the situation.

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