Sunday, December 19, 2021

Dealing with Flight Delays and Cancellations

Kathy checks our upcoming flights, and the flights of family and friends, on a regular basis.

Sure enough, this morning she found an ugly change on a relative's itinerary (no names because the relative doesn't know yet). What to do?

Coincidentally, travel blogger Gary Leff, one of our go-to travel writers, posted 9 Things That Will Keep You From Getting Stranded In The Airport.  While Gary is emphasizing those nasty curve balls thrown at you in the midst of a trip, the same rules are useful when dealing with a change on a future flight.

The single best strategy to attain a positive resolution is to do your own research in advance. A cellphone with data is a powerful tool. Just as a lawyer wants to know the answer to every question he asks a witness, you should know what you want before you talk to the airline rep. As Gary puts it, "Don't just accept whatever flight the airline offers you, do your own homework."

We also have to accept the fact that travel is an adventure that will includes ups and downs not limited to takeoffs and landings. In 2017, for example, we ended up stranded in Seattle with grandson Blane in the midst of flights from San Francisco to Bellingham. 

When the Bellingham Airport closes due to snow on the runway, and when a Microsoft convention takes up all the decent SEA- area accommodation, sometimes the best even "experienced travelers" can manage is to spend a few hours with one's precious grandson in a dump. In truth, Blane did just fine and his grandparents survived too.

In Around the World in Eighty Days, Phileas Fogg, Jules Verne's stereotypical English gentleman hero. states definitively that "the unforeseen does not exist." Of course, it's how we deal with the unforeseen (as well as the foreseen) that counts.

Oh, and that cancelled flight problem we started out with this morning is now resolved. In fact, it turned out that the partner airline, American, had already scheduled an acceptable alternative flight. Miracles do happen. 

Still, forewarned is forearmed.

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