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7 Tips For Dealing With Delayed Flights

July 10, 2018

Few things test a traveller’s patience like a delayed flight. When you get all excited with the anticipation of flying off to your destination, or if you’re at the end of a trip and heading home, the last thing you want to do is have to wait longer. Unfortunately, delayed flights are just one small setback to the miracle of flying. So while it might be annoying, it shouldn’t sour your trip. Take some tips on how to best managed delayed flights and keep your travel spirits high.

Know your rights.

There is a risk to buying an airline ticket which is why we have travel insurance. But something many travellers aren’t aware of is that they have rights as a passenger that the airline must abide by. This topic became wildly discussed recently with the threatened WestJet strike, leading to examinations of what passengers are owed for such occurrences. While cancellation due to worker strikes and cancellation due to weather have different parameters, your rights still do exist. For instance, if you are owed compensation for cancelled flights the airline must compensate in cash if requested regardless – you’re not forced to accept travel vouchers in lieu of money. There are plenty more rights that protect you as a passenger which are worth knowing. Study up on these rights and fly with a little more confidence.

Don’t lose your cool.

Having to deal with delays can be very frustrating. It’s normal to get angry in these situations but it’s also important to keep your emotions in check. We’ve all seen those people in the airport who lose it when they get bad news like this and they yell at anyone they can until they’re red in the face. And what does that get them? Delayed flights are rarely anyone’s fault and often done for the sake of passengers’ safety. Losing your cool isn’t going to get you on the plane any faster and there isn’t going to be any benefits to it. It’s just going to make you more stressed, more frustrated and less pleasant to be around. You don’t have to be happy about it but you should understand that there’s nothing you can do about it either.


With any luck, any delays you might find yourself experiencing in your travels will at least be in a big airport with plenty to do. Really there are some amazing airports out there now that have plenty to help you pass the time. Some are like shopping malls with all the stores, food and entertainment to explore. Even if it’s not a particularly large airport, walk around, stretch your legs and do what you need to in order to help the time pass. Making the best of a bad situation isn’t always easy, but it’s a lot more fun than sitting around doing nothing.

Bring entertainment.

There is only so much exploring an airport can do for you, which is why it’s good to have a back-up plan. Whether it’s to cope with long flights or downtime in the airport, bringing along something to pass the time is always a smart travel move. Some people prefer to read, others like to watch TV and movies, others just listen to music. Luckily, with today’s technology you can do all three with one gadget that takes up little space. Fill your phone or tablet with enough material to keep you entertained for those waiting periods as well as the unexpected delays.

Have a meal.

Having some extra time in the airport is not always such a bad thing. Usually you’re rushing through the check-in, security and finding your gate, so you don’t have time to stop and relax before the flight. Sometimes that means missing a meal. Whenever you’re delayed at the airport, it’s a good excuse to get some food in you before your trip. Sit down for a nice meal, take your time and enjoy. You can kill time and head on to your flight feeling full and satisfied.

Don’t overindulge.

When sitting down for a meal can be a good way to kill some time before your flight, you do need to be careful not to overdo it. While it is nice to have a full belly for a long flight, feeling too full can make the whole thing a very uncomfortable experience. Don’t overeat just because you’re looking to waste time. Have a sensible meal that you can take your time with a leave feeling comfortable. That goes for alcohol too. Having a drink or two before a flight can be relaxing but drinking too much can not only make for a bad flight, you can risk not being allowed on the plane altogether.

Leave the airport (if you can).

Sometimes those delays or rescheduled flights can have you facing a lot more time in the airport than you can handle. In those cases, it can be a good idea seeing about your options for leaving the airport. In some cases, security and customs can mean you’re unfortunately stuck where you are. But if not – and if time permits – think about venturing out of the airport for the time being. You could head to a restaurant, explore the city or maybe even see about getting a hotel room. Many hotels, especially those close to airports, offer day-stays for weary travellers. It’s not much cheaper than a real room but it can be very much worth it. Being able to sleep away your unexpected layover and arrive for your flight refreshed and ready can be a lifesaver.

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