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What to do when your flight is cancelled?
Picture this.You are rushing to the airport, suitcase, well planned and all. When you got to the airport to check in, you were notified by the airline agent that your flight have been cancelled. You want to be upset. You have a meeting with that special client to close the deal. How many times have your flights been cancelled?
What to do now?
As you may probably know from experience, some people resort to getting angry, mad and irate and turn their anger to the airline agents. Some ended up getting ousted by airport security. Worse, you may be banned from flying from that airline if you resort to assault or violence. Yes, I've seen that happen! Before you get into that sad state, I have some tips for you. To sum it up, the best tip is: be cool, nice, collected, and respectable of airline and airport employees. That will get you the best flights, the best people's reactions, and you may possibly "talk" them into giving you more perks, i.e., vouchers for future flights, access to the airline lounge, etc. But, the most important thing is you are saving your sanity.
Here are some more tips to save your sanity whenever your flight shows "Cancelled" on the airport screen:
Top and foremost. Stay calm, cool and collected;
Talk to the agent and check your options. If the agent is not that friendly, and/or not able to give you options that will work for your schedule, be sure to talk to the agent's supervisor;
If the cancellation is due to weather, unless you are a VIP frequent flier, you may not get a free hotel accommodation. Airlines are not legally mandated to provide free hotels for flight cancellations due to weather. Most airlines though, provide free hotel accommodation to their VIP frequent flyer members, senior citizens and children flying coming from an international flight (especially on connection flights); and other passengers whom they deem need complimentary hotel accommodations. All airlines provide discounted hotel vouchers. They are hotel vouchers that you present to the designated hotels and you will be provided rooms for discounted price. The price is usually about one third of the hotel's regular hotel rate. For example, I've seen hotel rooms that are normally $200.00 a night that are priced about $39.00 with the discounted hotel vouchers. The airline is being charged just a little bit- if charged at all - for those rooms. The airlines are actually doing the hotels favor by providing them the passengers to fill their otherwise empty rooms.
If your cancelled flight started very early in the day, you may look for a later flight. Sometimes you can still make it to your appointments. The key to making appointments is to travel at least one day ahead of time so that you will have some room for any emergencies.
If you cannot make it to your appointment and you decided to cancel your flight altogether, just let the airline agent know. For cancellations, even if they are due to weather, usually change fees are waived. If your ticket is fully refundable, you may ask the agent to just cancel the whole flight and refund your ticket. The refund goes to the original form of payment, i.e., if you used a credit card, the monies will go back to the credit card that you use. If you used cash, you will be able to be refunded in cash.
If you are not sure what day you can go again, ask the agent to put a remark in your PNR (Passenger Name Record), that your flights will be rebooked later. It is important because if there were no remarks, you will have to do some extra explaining. The agent can look at the history of the flight and can see what happened to the flight but you can save extra grief if the information is already in the record.
Again, whatever action, you take, go back to the very first step. The stress and grief that you will be avoiding due to flight cancellations - will be your own.
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