As you may have seen on the news recently traveling on an airplane is becoming increasingly frustrating due to long delays and cancellations. This is the reality we are living in, so it is best to be prepared rather than angry.
As the tourism industry begins to recover following the pandemic and the reopening of many states and countries, more and more people are looking to travel longer distances. For most people, this will involve flying on an airplane either within the country or internationally.
We’ve all seen the images shared online from airports around the world showing horrifically long lines for security, baggage dropoff, and just chaos in general.
To make things run smoother, airlines have allowed customers to drop off their luggage the night before a departure. However, some issues, such as delayed or even canceled flights cannot be so quickly solved. A shortage of pilots and security staff, who have to undergo rigorous training and a strict vetting process before being allowed to work.
So, if you are still intent on flying this summer, you should be ready for a delay. Here are five tips to keep you mentally and physically prepared for a hectic travel day.
1. Stock up on supplies
The best thing that you can do to prepare for a flight delay is to make sure that you have everything that you need.
If your airline allows you to travel with a carry-on bag, you should look to make full use of this! Make sure to pack items that you can use during a delay—a neck pillow and power cord.
If your flight is due to take off late at night then you may want to also consider packing a toothbrush and toothpaste as well as a hairbrush.
Remember: any liquids will need to comply with airport regulations (no bigger than 100 ml), so you will need to buy drinks at the airport or bring a reusable bottle if you want to save money.
2. Expect a delay
Flight delays are always the pits. If you have a connecting flight, it can really ratchet up your anxiety. The best way to prepare for this anxiety is to enter the airport with patience, and, swallows hard, expect problems.
If you arrive for your flight with the mindset that you will have to be patient and possibly wait a long time then you are much less likely to be annoyed if there actually is a delay. In the case that your flight does move ahead as scheduled, then it’s a bonus!
3. Know your rights
In the case that your flight is delayed (or canceled) you may be entitled to compensation. These rights will vary depending on where you are traveling from and in some instances on the airline as well. If you’ve booked a very cheap flight, read the fine print, you may be out of luck.
If your flight is delayed, you can rest assured that you know exactly what you can claim and save yourself the headache of trying to figure it all out on the spot.
If you are indeed entitled to compensation then this can make a bad day a little bit better!
4. Buy a lounge pass
One of the best places to relax in an airport is in a lounge. Depending on the airport that you are flying from there may be one lounge for general use, multiple lounges for different airlines, or special lounges that you can gain access to via credit card privileges.
If you are expecting long wait times then consider a lounge pass an investment for your travel day. Typically you can also eat and drink here as well as charge any of your electric items.
To find out if there is a lounge in your departure airport you should search online or contact the airline.
5. Change your itinerary if necessary
If your flight has been significantly delayed then you may want to consider changing your plans, especially if you are planning to travel late in the day. For example, if your flight has been delayed until the next day and you will miss out on a night at your destination, as a result, contact the hotel.
In some cases, they may be accommodating and adjust your stay for you as you will no longer need the room for that night.
Car rental companies should also be informed as you will need to let them know that you will arrive on a different day to collect the car and to make sure that it is still there waiting for you.
Going through all of these things can help to keep you proactive and keep your mind busy as the time hopefully ticks away until you can board your plane.
Photo is from unsplash
Guest Author Bio
Steve Costello is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience writing about travel, personal finance, and technology.