Flight Cancelled? Here’s what to do next.

By Marley Braun | Travel Tips

I don’t know about you, but every time I fly, I NEVER assume my flight is actually going to take off on time until I feel the plane taxiing down the runway.  

Not sitting on the runaway, but TAXIING down it!  We hope for on-time, we hold our breathe for delayed, and we curse under our breathe when we hear the words cancelled. 

So, here are 5 important things to remember next time your flight gets cancelled:

First, take a deep breathe...

Being nice goes a long way. I have seen people cry and scream in line at the airport, and it does not make a difference.  These airline agents are not the cause of your cancelled flight and there is only so much they can do.  Remember, kindness goes a long way.

Then, get on the phone.

Have your airline on speed dial (unless you are prepared to throw yourself at the ticket counter ahead of the hundreds of others whose flight was also cancelled). 

I'll personally dial the airlines number and stay on hold, while I am also standing in line at the ticket counter. It doesn’t hurt to cover all of your bases! 

The agents at the airport will try and book you on their next departure.  The agent on the phone can help you rebook as well, and can help you find an alternate flight.  In some cases, you can rebook on the airline’s app, so make sure you have that downloaded ahead of time just in case. 

Remember, it never hurts to ask!

If you remember my kindness rule, you might find an agent willing to put you on alternative airline carrier.  They are not required to do this but if you ask nicely, you never know what might happen.  What do you have to lose?  


Always know your passenger rights.

If your flight is cancelled due to bad weather, the airlines are not required to do anything for you other than help you rebook your flight.

If the cancelled flight is due to the airline having an issue such as a mechanical failure, you are entitled to compensation if the replacement flight delays your arrival time by more than two hours.   The European Union requires compensation if flights are delayed more than three hours.  If you are booked in first or premium class and then rebooked into coach, you are entitled to a partial refund. 


Lastly, save all boarding passes and receipts.

If you have travel insurance, you will need these to prove what expenses you incurred due to your cancelled flight.  I also include these as attachments when I write the airline’s customer service department once I get home.  

ALWAYS send an email letting them know what they did right and what they did wrong. It may get you nowhere or you may receive something.  You won’t know until you kindly ask!


About the Author

I am a mom first, and a wandering (but not lost) soul second. After years of planning travel for friends, I became a Cruise Planners Travel Advisor. You can learn more about the services I can offer you by visiting me at Memories by Marley