What to do if your flight to or from Hawaii is canceled.
General: DIY / How-To
Traveling by plane is a huge hassle these days. Gone are the days when flying was a real event and they're never coming back.
The process is horrible right from the start when you book your tickets and get stuck with added fees. You then have to get yourself to the airport, hours before your flight, deal with parking or dropping off a rental car. Now go wait in line so you can get your luggage checked. And then there is the dreaded TSA and the endless lines at the security checkpoint. Oh, the TSA!
Good To Go! Right?
Make it through all of that and it's likely to be smooth sailing, right? As it turns out, things can get much worse long before you step foot onto the sardine can they call an airplane. Flights get canceled or severely delayed for a variety of reasons all the time.
Weather is a common cause of flight delays. Extreme cold can be a major problem as can lightning in the area (they don't want ground crews getting killed). Or maybe something on the plane isn't working right. These are all very good reasons for a plane to get canceled, and certainly something we can all understand. We may not like it, but safety is always a priority and that's even truer when you're about to fly over thousands of miles of ocean.
Your Flight Is Canceled. Now What?
It's a stressful time but there are the key things you need to do if your flight is canceled or seriously delayed:
Don't panic and don't become a rude customer to anyone. Period. Keeping calm is the key because you're going to need help and nobody likes to help an angry person. It doesn't matter how right you think you are (or actually are), you'll always attract more flies with honey rather than vinegar as the saying goes.
Now that you're calm, you'll need help. If you used a travel agent give them a call right away and see if they can help which may mean getting you on another flight. If you didn't use a travel agent and booked on a site with cheap fares your best bet is to get in line for the desk agent at the airport (or your gate if you're there already).
If you booked directly with the airline then give them a call on the phone while you're waiting in the long line to talk to an agent in person. Most people won't think to call and will just get in line and wait.
If you belong to an airline club then heading to that area may be the best bet and avoid long lines of other angry passengers who are in the same boat as you. Don't belong to the club for your airline? Most will let you pay a day rate to get in. Once in, you have access to a dedicated person or team to help you.
When flights are canceled or delayed the airline wants to get you a seat on a plane just as much as you do. Well, at least almost as much as you do. They will do what they can to make this happen but it may require flexibility on your part. This may mean a less than desirable seat or splitting your group up so you can't all sit together. It may even mean taking a connecting flight rather than a direct flight. Your goal is to get on the plane so be flexible.
Avoid These Things
We all get freaked out at times and tend to get a little more annoying than we realize. We want what we want right now! Maybe your tactics have worked for you in the past, but these things do not work in airports:
Like we already said, don't be rude to anyone. Remain calm and do not raise your voice to anyone you are working with.
Don't ever use lines like "I fly with you all the time" or "Don't you know who I am" and so on. This will get you nowhere. If you are a big baller, frequent flyer then the service agent will know that already. It still won't help.
Don't try offering the service agents money for favors. This will only make things worse.
As tempting as it may be, don't leave with the last (nasty) word or a phrase like "I'll never fly with you again" or whatever. The agent likely doesn't care and you probably will fly with them again if they offer the cheapest rate. Regardless, it's in poor taste and does nothing to help the situation.
If your flight from Hawaii to back home is canceled then look at it like a little bit of aloha in disguise. You're in Hawaii after all, so is spending another day here really that bad? Work with the airline to get re-booked but why not be flexible and offer to stay another night. In many cases of a canceled flight, the airline may even offer to pay for another nights hotel stay for you. Go with it and let the assery that is modern day plane flight just be part of your experience and memories.
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