Expert’s tips for dealing with flight delays this Christmas

As Christmas approaches airports are guaranteed to get busier as people fly away on holidays and to see family.

After a summer of travel chaos it’s important to plan for a number of circumstances especially as the weather gets worse – today’s snow has already seen flights cancelled at Stansted, Heathrow, Manchester and more.

READ MORE: Your rights if flights are cancelled due to heavy snow as airports ground planes

The weather – as well as increased demand – means that you may end up delayed at the airport.

Luckily, the experts at Airport Parking Reservations have put together their top tips on what to do to ensure a delay doesn’t ruin your trip.

Check out their tips below…

Invest in travel insurance

Always have travel insurance in place from the moment you book a holiday – and make sure to check if your policy covers you in the event of delays.

Although in countries such as the UK your airline is obligated to look after you after a particular delay period, most travel insurance policies provide additional cover for travel uncertainty.

Additional cover usually becomes applicable if your flight is postponed by more than 12 hours due to a strike, adverse weather, or a mechanical breakdown.

Keep all receipts for expenses

When you're delayed, in some cases you'll be able to get compensation for expenses such as food, drink and even accommodation if this is required.

Make sure that you keep any receipts of airport purchases, as you can try to claim the money back from the airline later.

Airlines only pay for ‘reasonable’ expenses though, so you are unlikely to get money back for purchases such as alcohol, expensive meals, or extravagant hotels.

Know your compensation rights

If your flight is delayed you may be entitled to compensation or a refund.

For delayed flights departing from the UK or EU, you are protected by the Denied Boarding Regulation.

If your flight has been delayed by more than an established amount of time (two hours for flights less than 1500km, three hours for flights 1500km – 3500km, and four hours for flights of more than 3500km) your airline has a duty to look after you.

Unfortunately, bad weather or snow means the delays are not considered the fault of the airline and so they may not offer you a refund.

Check out your consumer rights if your holiday is cancelled due to snow.

For flight delays outside of the EU your rights will vary and depend on the terms and conditions of the airline, so be sure to check the terms and conditions before arriving at the airport.

In the United States, airlines are not required to compensate passengers when flights are delayed or canceled.

Contact the airline

As soon as you hear of the delay with your flight, contact the airline’s customer service team. It is important to note that flight delays that are outside of the airline's control may hinder your right to compensation, therefore be sure to check the circumstances before trying to claim or complain!

The customer service team should also be able to provide you with guidance on the immediate steps you can take to resolve your flight queries.

Don’t panic

Flight delays are without a doubt a stressful and frustrating situation, however, remaining calm can help to prevent further suffering.

Be kind to those around you, whether that be fellow passengers, or airline employees, as all involved will be feeling distressed by the situation at hand.

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