Holiday Flight Delays, the Pain and How to Deal with It

By Ian Fernando

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. I know I enjoyed my Christmas spending time with my family down in North Carolina. I flew down the 22nd and my scheduled flight back to Jersey is the 27th. This Christmas it decided to be a White Christmas in both Charlotte and New Jersey.

I was ready and all packed to head to the airport when I received an email notification saying flight my flight is cancelled. I check my flight status app on my iphone and it verified it is cancelled. The airport I am landing in is closed! This sucks. I then called to re verify and to see if I can get my flight scheduled to the next available flight.

... the earliest is the 31st at 6am!

Any flight delays or cancellations are a pain in itself. It aggravates yous and throws your mood off. I know it did for me, but luckily I wasn't at the airport when this happened. Orbitz notifications prompted me and I avoided any issues at the airport.

So how did I really deal with this situation? Simple I acted calm and basically called Orbitz to help me with my situation. I was calm about the flight cancellation as it was not their fault. They can not control the weather or the 3 feet of snow New Jersey received. So there is really no side to blame.

I acted calm and just asked about my flight and to see if there was a way I can get an earlier flight out of Charlotte, NC. Orbitz took the initiative to call continental and see if there were any flights available. Again, the earliest was the 31st. The lady on the phone was super helpful and she explained due to the airport closing, this is the earliest available flight.

She also told me to call to see if any one has cancelled as some flights may open due to consistent changes especially with the expected delays and cancellations. I decided to accept the new flight change and I will also be contacting Orbitz later and tomorrow to see if there are any available earlier seats.

So how do I deal with these rapid changes and not frustrate myself even more? Simple, I stay calm. Everyone hates being delayed especially if you are on time and prominent about your schedule. I personally don't like meeting with people who are late, it puts a bad impression on that specific person. So when I feel I am on a single track and I get shifted off for no apparent reason, I become frustrated.

One, I stay calm throughout the whole change of cancellations and delays. I do not let that take me over and change my mood. The weather is the weather, we have no control over what is falling from the sky. Here are some things to note when I am on the road and my flights are delayed/cancelled.

  1. Get Flight Status Apps such as Kayak Flight - enter your flight info and it will provide you with the status of your flight.
  2. Get eMail notifications 3 hours prior to your flight, this is an option with Orbitz.

If your flight is delayed/cancelled:

  1. Stay Calm and Don't Blame Anyone
  2. Figure out what is the best option base on your situation. Are you are the airport or about to leave to the airport.
  3. Treat the person you are talking to with respect
  4. If on the phone don't act tough because you are not having a physical face to face conversation
  5. Remember the agent you are currently speaking to is the only person who can help you with your situation right now.
  6. See if you can get a flight to any other closer airports

These are just some tips I came up with when having a conversation with an Orbitz agent. When I tried calling Continental direct, their lines were either busy or had a default voice message stating they have high call volume. No answer from a person. The interesting part is when Orbitz called directly to Continental they got through. I think they may have a direct line to another support team. Anyways, I am glad they called on my behalf and tried to find a resolution for me.

The holidays is a great time to spend with family but when you have unexpected delays such as flight cancellations and delays, it can get aggravating. The goal is to stay calm and work with the person you are working with. There is no point in trying to get what you want since the situation is out of your control. Asking the right questions is the only way to get your issue resolved in a timely respectable manner.

For me I am still in Charlotte writing this blog post, eagerly waiting to head back home to Jersey.

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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