What to do when your flight is delayed (or cancelled)

In my travel hacks post, I mentioned that I have had some experience being delayed or stranding in an airport.

I thought that the topic deserved it’s own post, so here we are.

First things first, if your flight is delayed or cancelled, contact your carrier immediately. They can rebook you and / or compensate your ticket.

Since you probably are not the only one in this situation, then the earlier you enter the queue, the better.

Within Europe, they have to get you food coupons and or get you to a hotel and cover the transport to the hotel.

Get where you want to end up

Do your research in the queue: can you find a replacement flight to your destination, alternatively by a different airline?

Figure out what the second-closest airport to your destination is. Are there any connecting flights that could get you there and minimize your delay to your destination?

Maybe your airline can rebook you – sometimes you will be surprised.

Be polite – it is (most likely) not whoever you are talking to’s fault that you got delayed. Howevery, don’t be a pushover. Do not accept anything that they offer you.

Living in a airport when your flight is delayed

If your flight is not the only one delayed, strongly consider getting to your destination by other means, i.e. trains or buses.

When many flightf gets delayed it can have this cascade effect which if very unpleasant and includes you standing in lines for hours without getting a ticket.

I have spend an entire weekend in Frankfurt Airport standing in lines getting nothing but frustration.

They did go through the lines and picked out people travelling with kids or disabled or elderly people to put them in a higher prioritised line, but that was still two nights and many long hours waiting unknowenly if I could come on the next plane home and I should just have gotten a train or FlixBus or something else to get out of the messy situation. It is a more expensive option, but keep it in mind.

How to spend your time in an airport

If you suddenly have a surplus of time to spend at an airport, here are some of my tips for how to spend / have fun in an airport.

Keep updated with where and when your flight will be boarded. Are you at the right gate?


Listen to podcasts. I prefer pyodcasts or audiobooks over music when travelling, and at this point there is a podcast about nearly everything.

Listen to audiobooks. Use either one of the (many) sponsored posts for Audible to get some free audiobooks. For Danish citizens, I have been using mofibo with great success a couple of times.

Have a physical relax.

Travelling with kids: do airport bingo

Posted on Mar 17 2020