Your flight is delayed. Should you wait or proceed as planned?

Flight delays happen every day.

It is nothing unusual.

While most flight delays are short, in some situations you may have to wait for hours. And then there are also situations when flights gets cancelled at some point. There are different reasons why flights get delayed. Some delays are caused by bad weather, others - by technical problems and human errors. Regardless of the reasons, there's nothing as frustrating as finding out that your flight has been delayed.

What to do when it happens?

Should you wait or should you proceed as planned?

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Woman sitting on a pink suitcase

How to find out that your flight has been delayed?

Usually travellers find out about the delay:

Should you wait or proceed as planned?

If you’re already at the gate - wait there.

In the rest of the situations it’s important to find out what’s happening with the check-in time. If the check-in time has changed or not. The same is important in both situations whether you are still at home or at the airport.

If you are still at home / hotel

If it’s quite a long delay, the check-in time may be changed.

It’s important to find it out before heading for the airport.

If there’s no information regarding the check-in time in the e-mail you have received, contact the airline to find out. Call the airport if you can’t reach the airline. It doesn’t matter if you have checked in or not, or if you’ll need to check in at the airport at all.

Just find out about the new check-in time.

Even if you have checked in online and do not have checked baggage, there’s no need to arrive at the airport if the check-in time has been changed. If it’s a small airport, chances are you won’t even get in the terminal, for the airport staff may only be letting those passengers whose flight is in 2 hours or so.

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Clock on the wall

The other reason is that your flight may get cancelled altogether.

If the check-in time has changed, act accordingly. Wait for a while. Double-check the information once again before going to the airport.

If the check-in time hasn’t changed, proceed as planned.

If you are at the airport

The same rules apply.

First of all, find out if the check-in has been rescheduled.

Yes, even if you don’t really need it, because you have already checked in online and you don’t have a checked luggage. Because your flight may still get cancelled. And if that happens, you’ll have to check in once again for the new flight (when one will be announced; maybe not today).

Woman at the airport

What if your schedule is really tight?

There’s also this option of not taking the flight.

Maybe your schedule is really tight, and there’s another flight that suits you better, and you’re about to get that flight instead. In this situation, of course, there’s no need to look for any extra information. If your current flight doesn’t work for you anymore, get that new flight.

And proceed accordingly.

You might be entitled to flight delay compensation

Remember this whenever you are flying to or from the EU.

Depending on the length of the delay, route and the airline you are flying with you may be receving compensation of up to €600 per passenger, if the flight is delayed, cancelled or you’re denied boarding because of overbooking.

Learn more:

And, of course, in the EU you also have the right to care.

Check your compensation online.

By Europe and EU we mean all EU Member States, the United Kingdom (UK), Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin, the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.