How to Avoid Flight Delays and Cancellations

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How to Avoid Flight Delays and Cancellations

Nobody wants to have to handle a flight delay or cancellation when they’re preparing for a trip. There’s nothing worse than getting everything ready for your big business trip or family holiday, just to discover that your flight has been delayed, and you’ll have to sit around in a terminal for several hours.

Unfortunately, as frustrating as flight delays can be, most people will encounter at least one travel issue throughout their lives – even if your flight is only delayed by a short time – like 20 or 30 minutes. While there’s not much you can do to completely prevent a delay or cancellation from happening; there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of a travel issue. Here are just some of our top tips for avoiding flight delays.

how to reduce the risk of flight delays

Stick to Non-Stop flights

Getting stuck behind schedule on a non-stop flight is a frustrating experience, but a delayed flight with a connection on the other end can be an absolute nightmare. When your first flight is delayed, there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to reach your second plane on time. This means that if you don’t have a single ticket for your flight, you’re going to have to pay to get another flight when you reach your first destination.
Although a non-stop flight can be more expensive, to begin with, they often save you a lot of time and headaches in the long-run.

Choose the Earliest Flights

Few people treasure the idea of getting out of bed at the crack of dawn so that they can rush to the airport and get an early morning flight. However, as unpleasant as it can be to hear your alarm going off in the early hours of the morning, the closer to the beginning of the day your flights take place, the less likely they are to be damaged by the “ripple” effect of other airline delays.
Throughout the day, the smallest delays can gradually grow to the point where entire flights are cancelled. Choosing an early-morning travel time reduces your risk of being one of the unlucky customers without a plane at the end of the day.

how to reduce the risk of flight delays

Plan Ahead

It’s difficult to predict the weather at the best of times – even when you have a mostly-accurate forecast on your hands. However, when you’re preparing for your flight, and you want to make sure that you don’t get stopped by delays, one of the best things you can do is keep an eye on the weather patterns. 

If you notice that there’s a storm or extreme weather warning coming on the day that you’re planning to take off, then you can always call the airline and check to find out whether everything is still running smoothly. If there are any problems, you could be the first one to know, and therefore have a better chance of changing your travel plans.

Keep your Essentials Close

There are plenty of good reasons to pack your must-have items in a carry-on bag rather than a check-in suitcase if you can. Keeping your luggage down to one bag means that you’ll be able to quickly rush from one part of the airport to another to catch a different flight if necessary. Additionally, having less luggage to check-in also means that you won’t have to wait for staff to retrieve your luggage from an airplane if your delay is announced after you’ve already handed over your belongings.

Make sure that you have the essentials in a pocket of your bag that is easy to access. For instance, you’ll need your toiletries in case you’re in the terminal for several hours, and you need to freshen up. It’s also worth keeping a phone charger on hand too.

Know Your Rights Regarding Compensation

Finally, if there’s nothing you can do in a flight delay but sit back and wait for your next flight to become available, then you can at least find out whether you’re eligible for compensation. Remember that anyone travelling to or from an EU airport, or anyone using an EU airline will be eligible for compensation if their delay lasts longer than three hours. If you arrive at your destination three hours after you’re supposed to, and the airline was at fault for the delay, then you are eligible for compensation.
Read up on your rights before your trip, so you know how to start the claim process as quickly as possible.

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