What to do if stuck in Transit: airline strikes, natural disasters, travel supplier defaults

Ah yes, another airline strike and this time with Air Canada. We have seen our share of strikes and supplier defaults the last couple of years and natural disasters that certainly disrupt travel schedules.  What do you do when you discover the airline you are booked on is on strike during your travel dates OR due to natural disaster you are stuck in transit?

  1. Check airline website and flight status diligently days and up to time to leave to the airport to see if your flight is scheduled at all or has a change of departure time. If cancelled, do not go to the airport. It will be overly busy and  long line ups at ticketing desks.
  2. If your flight is cancelled, the airline website will list what their policy is for re-booking and if fees are waived for making changes. Call your Travel Professional who can re-book your ticket with the airline and do all the legwork for you. Often, getting the airline reservations agents on the phone will mean a long hold and an travel professional can bring up your ticket and possibly make changes much quicker. When everyone is buying for seats on alternate flights, time is of the essence.
  3. Stay in touch with your Travel Professional. We are here to help and will go the extra mile to help you get to where you need to be. Remember the Iceland Volcano last year, ask me about re-routing clients through many means to get home..finally.
  4. If your flight is scheduled to depart prepare yourself for long lines checking in and through security and customs etc. GO EARLY.
  5. Check-in online through the airline’s website and print your boarding passes before your head to the airport. Baggage drop lines are usually much shorter and move quicker.
  6. Pay for your baggage (if airline charges for checked in baggage online when you check in online.
  7. If checking in at airport use the kiosks and have credit card ready if you have to pay to for checked-in baggage as cash and debit are not accepted
  8. Small children? Bring a small fold up stroller and gate check it. Kids can relax in a ‘seat’ while you are waiting in lines. Bring a few of their favorite toys. Maybe an ipad too!
  9. Know your baggage limits. Pack effectively. Try to limit your luggage. Is it a short trip, can you carry-on what you need and not need to check baggage?
  10. Have yourself sorted so you can get through security quickly. No sharp objects, all metals out of pockets including loose change. Have your liquids in your carry-on baggage all less than 3 oz and all placed in a clear and re-sealable medium sized Ziploc bag. Take electronics out and place in separate basket for screening. All of this will speed your way through security and also not hold up the line for others.
  11. Have a good attitude! You cannot change the situation and by not being courteous to airport and airline staff you certainly will not get further ahead of the line.
  12. Travel insurance is a must and should be purchased at time of purchasing your air tickets. In the event that a airline strike occurs and for example you are flying to go on a cruise that departs that same day..well…the ship is not going to wait for you. Or if you are in the middle of you vacation or returning home from vacation and your flight is cancelled and you are stuck in transit..like Tom hanks in the movie Terminal..only you are allowed to step outside the airport and now are paying for extra nights hotel. These are all insurable reasons for most travel insurance providers and they can help you during this time or you will be able to make a claim afterwards for the extra costs.
This entry was posted in Travel Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *