Beat airport cancellation stress – Top 10 ideasWritten by Nick
If you have ever been one of the millions stuck in an airport, you know how frustrating the wait can be and with the looming threat of more industrial action, this time by BAA staff looking to threaten millions of passengers travel arrangements in August, you might be wondering how to beat the stress.
This guide gives you 10 things for you and your family to help beat the stress!
- Take out travel insurance before you fly. Many insurance plans cover you in the case of cancelled flights, but always read the small print and know your rights before you take it out.
- Check your flight status BEFORE you leave for the airport. If it’s cancelled, you have already saved yourself the stress! There are plenty of online flight monitors that work in real time and teletext still works!
- Check your flight status when you arrive and crucially, BEFORE you go through security. If it is cancelled before you go through, go and check with the airline desk when you are likely to be able to board the next flight.
- Leave plenty of time to check in and get through security. Most airports are now suggesting a 3 hour advanced arrival for flights.
- Use your hand luggage to pack things that will keep you busy – Bring a charged iPod or iPhone, handheld computer console. Bring a paperback book you’ve been meaning to read and ensure you have a colouring book and small pencils for the little children.
- Make sure you have added several websites to your phone bookmarks before you set off. For example, if you are flying out of Gatwick, make sure you have a local taxi firm on your bookmarks and a list of Gatwick hotels, just in case you have to wait for an extended time. You can also add the BBC news site, your airlines contact details and their homepage to ensure you have all of the information should a problem arise.
- Drink plenty of liquids. Don’t take any through the security with you, but ensure you have enough coins to buy water and fruit juice drinks when you are waiting. Avoid coffee and tea, it will heighten your stress levels and dehydrate you.
- Don’t forget the internet. Most airports have wireless internet available, sometimes free, especially if you already have a mobile phone contract. Check out what you can get from your phone provider before setting off and make sure you have a credit card handy to get online at the airport lounges. This expense can sometimes be refunded if you are facing a cancellation and you can prove you needed the internet to contact loved ones, research hotels or find alternative flight.
- Play the airport game with your children. Give them a piece of paper and a pen to write down all of the different airlines they can see through the airport lounges and award a small prize for whoever finds the most. Play Airport Snooker with them, can they find a plane with red on it and then a plane with yellow and then green and so on. It’ll keep them amused for hours.
- Get back to the main terminal for shops and restaurants. Don’t forget this one; it is easily overlooked when you are cooped up in a lounge waiting for a flight. You do have the right to go back in to the terminal, just check with the security people the way you came in, there is usually a way to get back out. Be warned however, you will need to come back through security again so make sure you leave enough time once your flight is announced again.