Airplane Delays Suck
We've all been there, you're all ready for your trip, get to the airport at the necessary time only to find out that your flight is delayed and you're stuck wandering around the terminal like Tom Hanks.
While these delays can be annoying, here are a few tips to get you through:
Before You Leave The House:
-Sign up for flight alerts so you'll be notified about any changes. You can typically get these via phone, email or text.
-Find out if you can be moved to an alternate flight. Typically airlines will do this for free if the delay is their fault.
-Remember, if your delay is maintenance related the plane WILL LEAVE as soon as it's fixed so be sure to get to the airport at your regularly scheduled departure time just in case.
-Grab your headphones, a book, a tablet etc. something to help keep you occupied while you play "Is My Flight Ever Taking Off?"
-Wear comfortable shoes, or throw a pair of slipper socks into your bag. There is nothing worse than walking around the airport aimlessly with aching tootsies.
If You're Already At the Airport:
-Find out what the cause of the delay is (see #3 above) and see if you have time to exit the airport and do something else. Some of my best sightseeing has come from flight delays where I had an unexpected 5-6 hours to kill in a new city. Leave your bag at the airport (if it's not checked, there are lockers) hop in an Uber, taxi or other public transportation depending on the city and go see something new.
-Be REALLY nice to the gate agent. They're typically just as annoyed as you the flight isn't doing what it's supposed to and your attitude can be a difference maker between getting the last seat on an overcrowded flight and spending the night trying to stretch out in airport chairs.
-Document everything that went wrong with your flight and then call and explain your frustration to the airline. Often, particularly if you are a frequent traveler, they will attempt to accommodate you with everything from travel vouchers to frequent flyer miles to snacks and refreshments on a future flight.
- Download Gate Guru or iFly which are apps that tell you about the amenities at major airports across the country. Sometimes there are some cool things to do besides sit at the gate. For example, delayed travelers at SFO can take a yoga class and at Narita you can check into a sleep pod to comfortably snooze until you're air bound.
- Find the airport lounge and see if there's a day pass available at low or no cost. Depending on the type of credit card you have, there may be a deal to get you into this coveted space that generally comes with wifi, drinks and even a place to shower.