I answered the phone to hear the recorded message, “due to extreme weather conditions in the north, your flight has been canceled.” This was within 24 hours of our departure to meet other family members in Israel. After all the planning and anticipation for this trip, there was no way we were not going.
The good news was, after spending 6 hours on the phone with United’s MileagePlus customer service, we were rerouted around the world to arrive only 12 hours later than originally scheduled. The bad news, those 6 hours on the phone were some of the most stressful I could imagine, but the lessons learned were:
- Be nice, but persistent, when dealing with uncontrollable cancellations.
- Know your rights. Most airlines waive change and fee differences in cases of weather disruptions.
As I read the headlines from the storm of March 14, 2017 “this promised to be the worst travel day yet from a late-season winter storm that’s forced the cancellation of nearly 8,000 flights since Sunday…” Source: USA Today
6 ways to stay on top of last minute changes and cancellations:
- Put your cell number inside airline reservation
- Members have benefits. Always be a member the frequent flier of the airlines you are flying.
- Use the members-only customer service. Save the number as a contact in your travel phone.
- Frequent flyer account number on all reservations
- Notifications enabled with airlines for flight changes
- Travel apps with alerts for flight changes