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May 2, 2012

How to Stay Cool, Calm, and Collected When Dealing With Unexpected Flight Changes

by AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing

When dealing with frequent business travels, we have all come across flight delays or cancellations due to the weather or other unexpected, uncontrollable situations. Here are five helpful tips that will give you some semblance of control and, most importantly, will help you get where you need to go:

  1. Always book directly from the airline’s website. Using intermediary websites such as expedia.com, Travelocity.com, etc. will only cause greater headaches if ever you are in a travel jam because you will need to call that company directly to make changes. You can eliminate the middle man by booking directly with the airlines.  When you book with an airline directly,  and should an unexpected travel situation arise, you can speak to one of their agents directly who can mostly likely more quickly sort out the problem and provide you with more travel options.
  2. Be proactive when you find out your flight is delayed or canceled. If ever you find yourself with a cancelled or delayed flight, get on the internet promptly and begin doing your own due-diligence on possible flights or routes that you could take instead.  If you don’t have internet access, call the airline and speak to an agent about what options are available. If you did your homework online, you might even bring to their attention a better route to get to where you need to go. By doing your own research, you are now more informed and helpful to the reservations agent than you might have been before. You can also feel more in control about the situation at hand.
  3. Avoid “bad” airports. Look up which airports are experiencing delays and/or cancellations so you can ensure your new flight doesn’t go through any delayed airports. Try avoiding airports with the most frequent cancellations and delays if possible. San Francisco and Chicago are two cities that constantly experience flight delays or cancellations because of the weather.
  4. Be kind. When speaking to the airline agent either over the phone or while at the airport, do not lose your cool. Do not get angry, upset or nasty when you are speaking with them. Instead, calmly explain the problem and let the agent know that you are not holding them personally responsible for the situation. Be reasonable and provide possible options while being nice simultaneously. The agent will be more apt to identify with you and will want to help you if you’re nice.
  5. Don’t argue. If you must spend the night somewhere unexpectedly, do not argue with the airline agent about who is going to foot the hotel bill. If you let them know that you are willing to spend a night then many more options will be opened up to you. Also, if you are traveling for business, most companies will gladly reimburse you for the expense, especially if you made it to your destination on time.

Be proactive while staying calm to find the best solutions during flight delays or cancellations.

Traveling can be very stressful at times, especially if your flight gets delayed or cancelled. If ever you experience unexpected travel hiccups in the future, remember to stay calm, cool, and collected to get the best outcomes in the end.

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