Breaking News
More () »

How to handle a flight delay or cancellation

If you find yourself stuck at an airport with a canceled or delayed flight, here’s what you should know.

DETROIT — Has your flight been canceled or delayed? You're not alone. In fact, you're among thousands of people affected by mass flight cancellations over the past year.

Flights can be delayed or canceled because of weather, maintenance issues or staffing problems. If you find yourself stuck at an airport with a canceled or delayed flight, here’s what you should know.

Always check your flight status on your airline's website in the 24 hours leading up to your flight. When you're at the airport, check the departures board for the latest information. If your flight is canceled, don't panic — your airline will likely automatically rebook you on the next available flight. However, there's a chance that might not happen or if it does, the new flight may not work with your schedule.

If you've received the news of your canceled flight at the airport, head to your airline's help desk.

“Those people that are at the desk are your best friends," said Dawn Kelly, owner of Travel Connections. "Those are the ones that can put you on standby seats, that can possibly check with other airlines. That can really be your best line of defense for a situation like this. They will probably even have you call a 1-800 number. I always recommend my clients to call the 1-800 number but they’re also to stand in line with the airport people that can get the stuff done.”

She also mentions you may be eligible for a refund.

“If the flight is canceled, you are entitled to a refund," explained Kelly. "So you have to go with the airline and make sure you’re getting that. We book flights as part of vacation packages, so we have travel insurance that we add with vacation packages that can help us with the flight issues as well. If there’s certain reasons that flights are canceled or delayed, more specifically delayed, then it becomes a little bit more gray —  the airlines can’t issue credit in Lou of refunds.”

If your at the airport and your flight has been delayed for a while, you can always ask your airline for food vouchers while at the airport.



Before You Leave, Check This Out