Flight Delays: What to Do and How to Prevent Them

From adverse weather conditions to strikes and security threats, among others, several things can result in a flight delay. If you’re a frequent traveller, you must know that experiencing flight delays is almost inevitable in your journey. However, while the reason behind the delay is mostly out of your control, you can still work towards reducing your chances of experiencing one. In this article, we will highlight some of the ways you can do that.

1. Book a Morning Flight

Not everyone enjoys going to the airport very early in the morning but you can make this sacrifice to avoid unnecessary delays. Flight delays often tend to cause a ripple effect on other flights. If an aircraft arrives late, it simply means that the next flight would automatically be delayed. Early-bird flights are mostly on schedule and you will likely get tickets at a cheaper rate. On the other hand, if you book your flight for later in the day, chances are that your flight would get delayed and you might end up spending the night at the airport.

Book a Non-stop Flight

If your flight has lots of stops and layovers, there’s a great chance that you might experience delays or cancellations. No one can perfectly estimate how much time it would take to get passengers onboard and offboard for every stop. The flight could stop in a location with bad weather or something else could come up. Choosing a non-stop flight over connecting flights can be a bit more expensive but look at the brighter side of reducing your chances of delay. If you have a connecting flight with another airline, you might want to avoid flights with stops and layovers, as you might end up missing your next flight.

Book when the Weather is Fair

One of the most common reasons for flight delays is adverse weather conditions. Your flight could get cancelled if the weather is not favourable at either the departure point or the arrival point. Check the weather report carefully to determine the best time to book your flights. For example, if the location of your departure deals with severe morning fog that restricts airlines from flying, you may want to avoid early morning flights in such a situation.

Research Alternative Flights in Advance

It’s best to stay prepared in case of a flight delay, so you can have immediate options and continue your journey without any hassle. Many people often have to queue at the airline’s desk to get information on available flights they can switch to. By doing your research prior, you can beat the crowd and save some time.

Can You Get Compensated?

Flight delay compensation is available in EU member states following the EU 261 regulation passed in 2004. If you ever experience a flight delay of more than three hours, you may be entitled to compensation of up to €600, depending on the distance. You may also be entitled to complimentary food and drinks for a delay of over two hours. Take advantage of this regulation when you can.

Bottom Line

Flight delays will always happen due to several reasons that may not even be within the airline’s control. You can however take practical steps as highlighted above to reduce your chances of experiencing one.

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