United States · Coping with Flight Delays|
Posted: 2006-06-10 06:38:42
· Airlines don't guarantee their schedules, and you should realize this when planning your trip.
· Bad weather that results air traffic delays are beyond the airlines’ control.
· In general, you are least likely to be delayed on nonstop flights.
· Choose a flight with a stop or connection, try to select one stopping at the least-congested enroute airport in order to reduce the risk of delay.
· Always check the amount of time between flights.
· Ask yourself what will happen if the first flight is delayed; if you don't like the answer, pick another flight or ask the agent to “construct” a connection that allows more time.
· Flights during peak travel times of the day (e.g., 4:00-6:00 p.m.) are more susceptible to delay.
· Department of Transportation, USA requires the major U.S. airlines to make this information available upon request if you make a reservation through the carrier.
· Call the airline well ahead of your departure time to check on your flight’s status.
· While airlines often try to call to notify you of schedule changes, it may not be possible to do so if the airline becomes aware of the delay only shortly before the flight. It is wise to check.
· Find out how late your flight will be so that you can evaluate your options. But keep in mind that it is sometimes difficult for airlines to estimate the total duration of a delay during its early stages.
· It is sometimes easier to make such arrangements from a pay phone or cell phone than at a ticket counter.)
· Find a flight on another airline, ask the first airline to endorse your ticket to the new carrier, which could save you a fare increase.
· If you're using an electronic ticket, you will probably have to get paper documentation (FIM-Flight Interruption Manifest) issued before it can be endorsed to another carrier.
· If your flight is canceled, most airlines will rebook you on their next flight to your destination on which space is available, at no additional charge. If this involves a significant delay, find out if another carrier has seats and ask the first airline to endorse your ticket to that carrier.
· You may also demand a refund for a “canceled” flight.
· Each airline has its own policies about what it will do for delayed passengers waiting at the airport. There are no federal requirements regarding these amenities or services.
· Ask the airline staff if they will pay for meals or phone calls. Other airlines may not offer amenities if bad weather or something else beyond the airline’s control causes the delay.
Before you book your flight, you may wish to check the web sites of the larger carriers for their voluntary Customer Service Plans, which list the amenities that those airlines will provide to passengers.
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