For all of you stuck in an airport somewhere due to the small volcano problem here are our favourite ways to cope with flight delays. We have all heard that moan of frustration erupt from the crowd of passengers surrounding a departure gate when it is announced that a flight is delayed. We have all seen that split second (or for some - prolonged) look of panic across the faces of businessmen and parents of toddlers alike as they try to decide the best way to cope with flight delays.
Rise and Shine - Morning Flights
Always try and book a morning flight and the reason is simple – the weather! It takes time for a thunderstorm to build (don’t ask me details, geography wasn’t my favourite subject at school!) If it’s not the weather then it’s a technical difficulty or a crewmember that hasn’t turned in so a morning flight also avoids the knock on effect from earlier flights.
Cover up - Travel Insurance
Always have travel insurance to deal with the cost incurred if you need to get a different flight. If you are outbound on your well earned holiday you do not want to think about the chunk you have already added to your visa before you see any sun, sea or … and if your on your home from a fantastic fortnight of fun and frolics the funds may be low. Get good travel insurance, its easy to compare and purchase online and you won’t regret the premium if the worst does happen. And check out the acts of God section. Volcano problems are the last thing on anyone's mind usually but hey, there's a first time for everything!
Dib Dib - Be Prepared
Ensuring that you have adequate distraction for yourself and the kids is essential! So get the latest Marian Keyes to loose yourself in and pack the games consoles, colours and mp3 players for the kids. Having to listen to ‘are we leaving yet?’ is just as aggravating as the time old ‘are we there yet?’ Get fed and fed well, you may not know how long your going to be delayed and you will need something decent to soak up the vodka you feel you deserve when you do eventually get going! A small blanket is also a must – I know with the ever-decreasing baggage allowance you think I'm mad but air-conditioned airports can become quite chilly after a few hours. Cranky is one thing, cold and cranky is another.
Use your noggin - Think ahead
Keep an eye on whether you will make your connecting flight. If you think you will be tight for time, talk to the airline rep and see if the connecting flight is also delayed. Check if another carrier has seats available if it is going to be a long delay. Most importantly, when they tell you they will soon begin boarding – go to the toilet. Everyone is in such a panic to actually get onto the plane they forget to go! Much easier to go in the airport then wait your turn when 200 people try to use two toilets. Trust me, as someone who has done the oh so awkward ‘I’m going to burst jig’ in the aisle of the plane – not pretty in your white linen trousers!
It's nice to be important but more important to be nice – Be polite
Yes, it’s a pain in the rear to be delayed (quite literally, some airport seating leaves a lot to be desired) but being polite will help you stay calm. The airline rep is less likely to help the obnoxious passenger who is shouting at her than the polite person who says ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. We have all seen those airport programmes and cringed at the sight of normal people morphing into raving lunatics with no self-control. Hard as it may be, find your happy place it will help if you’re in for the long haul.
So there you have it all you need to know to survive the dreaded delayed flight. Just remember what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!