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Home for the Holidays: What to Do if Your Holiday Flight is Delayed or Cancelled

Whether it’s caused by a storm, issues with the plane or something else, flight delays and cancellations do happen — especially around the holidays. Check out our tips to be prepared in the case of a delayed or cancelled flight in the coming weeks.

Check to see if you’re already rescheduled

Oftentimes, airlines will automatically reschedule you when your flight is delayed. Make sure to check your email, voicemail or text messages for an update from your airline alerting you of a change to your itinerary.

Call your travel management company

When a flight is delayed or cancelled, people automatically jump in the long customer service line and wait, sometimes for hours. But, if you booked your trip through a travel management company or travel agency, give them a call*. It’s their job to help! They can look at different options and will often be able to reschedule you before a customer service agent.

Plan ahead

Obviously you can’t predict every reason for a flight delay or cancellation. However, if you know a big storm is headed your way, start planning ahead. Give your travel management company a call to see if they can rearrange your schedule and get you out before the storm hits.

Pack light

If you feel there is a possibility your flight could be delayed or cancelled, think ahead. Pack light and do not check your luggage. Once you get to the airport and check a bag, your rescheduling options become much more limited. Airlines are more accommodating when they know they don’t have to track down your luggage to get you on a last minute flight.

Get comfortable

It never hurts to ask a gate agent if the airline you are flying gives out meal vouchers to delayed or stranded passengers. If you are going to be stuck, you might as well be full! On a related note, you probably don’t want to spend Christmas Eve (or the days before or after) sleeping on the floor of the airport. Book a hotel room as soon as you know that you may be stranded overnight. There will be plenty of others trying to do the same thing so act fast! This is also something your travel management company can help you out with. Are you sensing a theme here?!

All in all, don’t panic if your holiday flight is delayed or cancelled. It definitely isn’t ideal but with a little patience and travel management experts who can help, you’ll be sipping eggnog and opening gifts with your friends and family before you know it.

*If you are a Professional Travel customer and are experiencing issues outside of normal business hours, call the emergency after-hours service number that was provided to your company.


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