Home TIPS What to Do When Air Travel Plans Go Wrong
What to Do When Air Travel Plans Go Wrong PDF Print E-mail

There's a cynical old Navy saying that may describe what happens when your trip stalls:

When in trouble or in doubt;
Run in circles, scream and shout!

Anger, confusion and frustration can happen to even the most patient senior travelers when things don't go as planned. Consider some ways to cope with those unexpected and unwelcome moments.

Cool down. Uncontrolled fury never solves any problem, and usually makes it worse. You need to think rationally about how to handle the situation. For example: Your flight is cancelled. Disaster! Panic!

The first action after you've calmed down is to sit quietly and begin to sort it all out. Maybe another song hints at the solution:

Nothing's impossible I have found,
For when my chin is on the ground
I pick myself up, dust myself off,
And start all over again.

Go back to the airline service desk and inquire simply and constructively: “Can you get me on another flight that will put me back on schedule?” Delays and cancellations are nothing new to the experienced employee, and with your courtesy and cooperation, the problem may be solved.

In addition to getting help to board another flight, ask about compensation for the delays, whether financial and/or future free flights. Another quote, from Proverbs, sums it up: A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger.


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