Most of us have been there: you have places to go and people to see, then "oh GREAT," in bold red letters you see that your flight has been CANCELLED. What do you do now? Winter storms in particular, spell a lot of lost money for individuals who were stranded thanks to all planes being grounded. While it's easy to take our your blame on the airlines themselves, your reaction might be a bit premature.
The next time you find yourself facing a cancelled flight, try these five tips courtesy of Business Insider to get yourself back on the right track...or...plane?
Step 1: Directly check in with your airline
This may seem like a no-brainer, but few people realize that your airline should actually get in contact with YOU directly to either re-book you on a different flight or refund your money...but usually that's in the form of a credit towards a future flight. It all depends on the airline so check that first.
Step 2: See if your credit card company offers additional compensation
Some airline credit cards like United Airlines Explorer Card from Chase or Citi's American Airlines Advantage Card offer additional protections if you are away from home and your flight gets cancelled. These obviously depend on the provider, but some offer as much as $300 to $500 to book a hotel while you wait for the next flight.
Step 3: If you are flying to the European Union, you may have additional benefits If you booked a flight with an American carrier but were put on an EU carrier to fly out of the country, you may be entitled up to 600 euros in compensation plus the cost of a hotel and a meal. It should be noted that this usually only happens if your flight was supposed to cover more than 2,200 miles and provided that the carrier can prove the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances.
Step 4: There are Crowdfunding Sites for People Who Are Stranded
Almost like a Go Fund Me campaign to help you get home, there are sites called Refund.Me and AirHelp.com that gather compensation to put you on another flight. The cost? They usually take a 25% fee of what they recover. Ouch.
Step 5: If You're Really in a Bind, Buy a Day Pass at an Airline Lounge.
I have spent many time in airline lounges, and it is well worth it for some quiet, comfort and tasty free food (and booze). Clubs like Delta's Sky Club usually charge $50 per day for folks who are stranded due to flight cancellations. However, for everyone's comfort there's usually a limit to the number of people they can safely and comfortably allow into the lounges at the same time.
Hope these tips help you on your next journey they may turn out to be more eventful than you planned. GOOD LUCK!
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