The world is filled with delays and cancellations. In fact, many of us have endured them. This can be a very frustrating experience, especially if you are a regular traveler. Also, a few things are as frustrating as being stuck in an airplane seat with nothing to do for a few hours. If you are traveling by air, it is important to know that you can take care of yourself in the air, at least as long as you have a good book or a good magazine to keep your mind occupied. 

Although it is not a cure for whatever ailment has forced you to be stuck on the plane for so long, it is a vital part of being a passenger. Instead of getting all worked up or stressed out, here are the following things on what you can do next when your flight gets delayed:

  • Find out what causes the flight’s delay. There are numerous reasons why your flight may be delayed, but the most common reason is due to a mechanical problem. You may have heard that a flight is delayed due to weather or because the plane is late. This is true for about 60 percent of delays. The next most common reason is a ground stop, which is when the airline is unable to service all of its planes because of a mechanical issue. The last reason is a staffing issue, which is when crew members are unable to report for work.
  • Know your rights as a passenger. The number of flights delayed at airports in the US has increased dramatically since the 9/11 attacks, and even though there are a number of things that you can do when your flight is delayed, there are probably some things that you didn’t know you could do. It may be a good idea to know your passenger rights so that you can communicate effectively with airline staff and receive the correct information.
  • Don’t lose your travel documents. Travel can be stressful enough without having to worry about losing all your travel documents. Unfortunately, this is a common problem for most of us. It may seem like an outrageous event, but if it happens to you, it can happen to anyone. You may be able to get an airline to reimburse you for some or all of your expenses, but that hardly makes you whole. Worse, the airline may claim you mislaid your travel documents in a way that is difficult for you to prove. And even if you are lucky enough to find your travel documents, you may not have time to do anything with them before you catch your next flight.
  • If you have a connecting flight, seek assistance from the airline staff. If you have ever been on a delayed plane flight, you know how frustrating and annoying it can be. A delay can cause you to miss a connecting flight, which can lead to spending additional hours in the airport, waiting for a flight that you can’t afford to miss.
  • Claim the compensation. All Airline passengers have the right to claim compensation for delays and cancellations, but they may be able to get better results if they act quickly in the first 24 hours after the delay. However, the choices are limited and don’t always work: Air Canada’s website and call center are notoriously slow to respond and often out of credit. British Airways and American Airlines offer better customer support, but their payouts tend to be on the low side by comparison. United Airlines and Delta Air Lines generally respond faster and offer better payouts but demand more information to help with the claim.
  • Check if your credit card covers flight delays. Pick your flight and fly, right? Now, if you have to fly, you will definitely want to make a plan and check if your credit card offers any protection against flight delays as one of the things To Do Next when your flight gets delayed. Most credit cards now offer this protection, and you can find them easily through the credit card companies’ websites.

If your flight was delayed, what do you do next? That depends on your reasons for the delay, as well as your location. Most delays will be resolved within a few hours, and some even within a few hours, with the average time being three to four hours. All you have to do during this type of situation is stay calm and remember the above-listed tips to survive this dreadful flight-delay situation.


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