Getting Stuck or Delayed

Murphy’s law states that “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”.
We travel thousands of miles in complex machines and most of the time it actually doesn’t go wrong. I am amazed over the distances and hours I have spent travelling, how lucky I have been. But sometimes it does. Weather, mechanics, people and electronics can all conspire to derail your travel plans.

1. Do your research-some flights, some airlines and some airports can have a notorious reputation for delays. Choose a better option
2. Check the airline’s website or Twitter feed before leaving home. I use Tripit which tells me when a flight is delayed. You may be able to switch flights before leaving home. Be warned them running late doesn’t actually give you an excuse to run late- sometimes airlines find substitute planes!
3. If your flight is delayed, don’t panic. Have a Plan B. No plan B? Create one! Many airports have massage centers or manicurists. I have even had coffee with friends and a swim while delayed. Make it an adventure.
4. Have the 1800 number of your airline, rail company, hotel or travel agent pre-programmed into your phone
5. Call your airline while standing in the queue for the besieged airline customer servuce desk. Whoever serves you first, you still win!
6. If your airline desk is completely swamped, head through the airport to another one or your airport lounge (if you are a member) or even a gate agent for your airline. Sometimes, they will send you back and sometimes they will help you
7. Don’t blame the staff for the delay. They did not create the weather or mechanical problem. Assume they are trying to help you before you accuse of them of abandoning you
8. Bring a book- you may not have access to power outlets during a delay
9. Recharge-if you see a power outlet charge your gear-you may not get the chance very often-be fair and share!
10. Know your rights as a passenger but be warned they vary from country to country:

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  1. Wen possible avoid northern hubs in the winter also can help. For example from my home airport, STL, if I am flying to LAX in December I might chose to hub through DFW or PHX instead or ORD, DEN or SLC.

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