Delays due to weather/strikes happen. This list is what you should NOT do:
Panic, it will not help you to make sharp decisions.
Call your travel agent unless she/he booked the actual flight.
Pull out your credit card immediately.
Stand in a long frenzied line with screaming people.
Pack in luggage your phone charger; always keep it in carry on.
Here is what you SHOULD do:
Scan trip documents for the 24/7 emergency numbers of your trip. Always keep the 24/7 numbers for your flights/cruise/tour on hand. There might be different numbers for each part of your trip. For instance, if an agent booked the flight, you booked the cruise or a third party arranged a post tour.
NUMBER 1 Call your travel insurer and ask for help. Our travel insurance company has a concierge service, use it.
NUMBER 2 List chronologically the travel arrangements that need to be rebooked. Start with the first flight. Call the 24/7 number for that company and rebook the flight. If the second flight is a separate ticket, you now need to call the agent/cruise/tour company who booked that ticket.
NUMBER 3 If you are flying business class, the airlines will only look for new business class seats for you. The lack of business seats might mean a further delay. If you are willing to fly coach, tell them and ask up front, if they will refund you. This is called a ‘voluntary downgrade’. Alas, you will likely lose some $$. Your choice.
NUMBER 4 Travel insurance will cover these extra costs (not voluntary downgrade). Most importantly, a good travel insurer will give you advise about what they will reimburse you for and give your verbal permission to buy a new ticket if your airline cannot accommodate you fast.
NUMBER 5 Keep your baggage claim numbers. Some airlines stick the baggage claim to your boarding pass and you will surrender it when you change tickets.
NUMBER 6 If you like belts and suspenders, photo the departures signs showing delay or cancellations.
NUMBER 7 Keep your phone recharged, carry onthe right plugs for the airports in which you connect.
We hope you never have to do any of these! The Women’s Travel Group always has 24/7 telephone and text numbers for your comfort and safety. Join us to China, Iran, Italy, Morocco and more in 2016-2017. Contact us at Phyllis@thewomenstravelgroup.com