What Can You Do If Your Flight is Canceled

We’ve covered this topic before since it happens often: what can I do if my flight is canceled?

Flying in and out of DFW was a nightmare earlier this year with two days of ice, then after one day of warming, the very next day DFW got up to five inches of snow. We were scheduled to fly to Dublin (via Toronto) on Air Canada Saturday morning. Since that was the day after it snowed we hoped we would be okay.

When we got up in the morning our flight was still showing as leaving on time. About four hours before our flight we received the notification that our flight was delayed by five hours. This would give us an arrival time approximately 10 minutes before our connection.

The first trick I’ve learned from Jeanne (and following other travel bloggers) is to Tweet the airline if you’re having problems with your flight. I Tweeted Air Canada and they asked me to Direct Message them our booking reference number.

The second trick is to call while you’re waiting in line (or in my case Tweeting). I was on hold waiting to speak to an agent while I was Tweeting Air Canada. They asked me if I had talked to an agent and I hadn’t, I was still on hold. While I was on hold we got a phone call. An Air Canada agent was calling us to tell us which flights they rescheduled us for since we weren’t going to make our connection. The Tweet I got back from Air Canada confirmed that our flights had already been changed for us. Great! It added an extra connection and we were going to get in about seven hours later, but that was better than a day (or more) later.

We relax a little bit, we’ll be delayed, but the delay will also give the roads more time to thaw out.

About an hour before we plan to leave for the airport we get the notification that our first flight is canceled. Aaaarrrgh. I call Air Canada again and start Tweeting as well.

At this point we assume getting out on an Air Canada flight that night isn’t going to happen. The last leg of our trip was an Aer Lingus flight from Heathrow to Dublin. So we looked to see if we could still get a flight out of DFW to Heathrow that night. Since we fly on American Airlines a lot (yes, I do fly on airlines other than Spirit 😛 ) we knew there should be three flights that evening to Heathrow. We looked them up and none of them were canceled and they were still all scheduled to depart on time. Two of them would get us in on time to make our connection to Dublin. What we needed to know was if there were seats available for five of us on either of the flights.

After a 20-minute wait on hold we finally get to talk to an agent. While we were on hold we were proactive in looking up the flight numbers, departure times, and the arrival times for the AA flights to Heathrow. We tell her what flights we were looking at and ask if we can be moved to one of these flights; preferably the earliest one.

The phone agent was impressed and happy that we had a possible solution and had the information that made it easy for her to look up the flight to see if there was availability. Lucky for us there was and we were able to get on the first American Airlines flight of the evening. Yay!

We got on the flight, it left on time so all was good, right?

To be continued…


Dublin Ireland

About Tiff

Tiff's first big vacation was a Caribbean cruise when she was six. She first started getting interested in deals when her husband showed her the tricks to getting bought off your flights back in the late 90s. She started flying nonrev when they got married; the first unusual nonrev she did was in '05 when her family flew through San Juan to get to Dallas from Philly. They have two boys, ages 10 and 6, who she usually drags along on their travels and hopes they will grow up to love traveling as much as she does.

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  1. “Flying in and out of DFW was a nightmare this last week with two days of ice, then after one day of warming, the very next day DFW got up to five inches of snow.”

    As a resident of Dallas, I can assure you that this week of April 20 (this was published on April 24), we have had temperatures in the 50’s to 80’s, no ice and no snow. I admit that La Niña has brought us some much needed rain this past week with an occasional thunderstorm that might have caused some delays at DFW. Did these events perhaps occur during the first week of March when we had our annual week of Winter here in the Metroplex?

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      This was my fault / site launch fault. She submitted it but the site wasn’t up and running yet, so I scheduled for post-launch without thinking!

      Sorry Tiff!

  2. I had almost the same exact experience a few months ago so I wonder if we were both flying around the DFW area in February?

    I was midway to DFW on a Friday afternoon, working on the plane (thank you, Gogo), when I received an e-mail from the client that our early morning Saturday meeting was canceled due to the expected inclement weather (the 3rd storm in that area in a week). I tweeted Delta to figure out reschedule my return flight (originally scheduled for Sunday). Unfortunately, I didn’t see their tweet until after I had landed so my rescheduled flight was handled by a gate agent. However, since my bags didn’t make it onto the same flight I did, I tweeted Delta to ensure that my bags were going to make it back to NY OK. Despite the horrors of being in flight for about 10 hours that day, the Twitter customer service was really good. It definitely alleviated some of the stress I was dealing with.

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