As corporate travel planners, the TravelManor team has often been in the situation where we’ve had to help clients deal with the exasperating inconvenience of delayed flights. Let’s not mince words - it sucks. It’s time-consuming and infuriating, especially when you’ve planned an entire business journey according to the exact arrival time. But, it happens. So what’s a busy corporate traveler to do when the worst happens and a flight is delayed despite their best-laid plans? Here are a few ways to stay sane and deal with the situation like a grownup:
It can be hard to remain polite and respectful when you’re frustrated due to the delay of a flight, but if you want to get anything done, this is the first step. Take a deep breath, accept the situation for what it is and then go on to treat every person you encounter in the process of trying to find a solution as politely as possible. You are far more likely to get an earlier flight out, gain access to a lounge or get a meal voucher quickly if you’re not shouting at the person who’s trying to help you solve your problem. That’s just basic emotional math.
It may not always be an option when you're flying internationally, but local flights run more frequently, so if your flight is delayed there is scope to ask for space on an earlier flight. You might get a really bad seat or end up in a lower-tier section of the plane, but you won't be wasting time sitting around at the airport. This shift can be requested at an airport service desk or check-in counter. It's not an ordinary request, so you'll need to be extra sweet to the staff member manning the computer and be clear that you don't mind a crummy seat as long as it gets you to your destination on time.
When your flight is delayed, the airport is likely to provide meal voucher or overnight accommodation. Your travel insurance may well cover delays, but your insurer is quite likely to insist that you get in touch with the airline for compensation before settling a claim. Find out what they cover and make use of it. Keep the receipts for all other out-of-pocket expenses (e.g. transfers, cell phone data, meals) and request an insurance letter that you can submit for reimbursement from your travel insurance provider.
There you have it - a few expert tips that will allow you to deal with the inconvenience of a delayed flight in a constructive fashion. Keep an eye on the blog in the coming weeks and months for more expert advice on planning business trips that make your life easier and allow for maximum efficiency. In the meantime, contact our team of dedicated corporate travel planners if you would like to learn more about our services.