If you travel by air enough times, you’ll eventually run into a delayed flight. It might be due to severe weather, like a blizzard, or it could be due to a malfunction in the plane itself. Either way, the result is the same—you won’t be leaving the airport for a while.
Fortunately, you don’t have to just sit around and wait. There are a lot of things you can do, from reading a book to watching TikTok. You can even use the time you’re at the airport to get ahead on your finances and ensure your interrupted travel plans don't end up costing you more money.
How to Avoid Extra Expenses if Your Flight is Canceled
Having a flight be canceled is very frustrating, just ask the thousands of passenger of South West airlines who had their 2022 holiday plans thrown for a loop. However, there are four important steps to take when your flight gets canceled or delayed to ensure your wallet doesn't suffer too.
Read up on Your Rights as a Passenger
Honestly, this is something that everyone should do before they go on their flight, but it’s especially important to know your rights if your flight is delayed. While airline passengers do have some general rights under law, every airline has a different policy on what they will and will not do for passengers, from rebooking them at no charge to refunding your flight. The more you know right now, the better off you’ll be when speaking to the airline’s customer service.
Look at Your Credit Card’s Terms
Once you’ve finished looking over the airline’s policies, turn your attention to the credit card you used to buy the tickets. Some credit card terms might give you compensation if your flight is delayed or canceled. If you bought your ticket with one of the credit cards that offer rewards, you’ll want to find out how the credit card’s insurance policy affects any rewards points you earned on your purchase.
Let Your Financial Institution Know Where You're Flying
Banks and credit unions both want to protect their members from identity theft. That means they monitor people’s credit card usage for any unusual activities, such as making purchases in unusual locations. This can result in a false flag being raised when you’re traveling and result in your credit card being shut down when you’re miles away from home.
The good news is that it’s not hard to prevent this from happening. All you need to do is contact your financial institution and let them know your travel plans. If you’re wondering what to do if your flight is delayed, this should be one of the first things you come up with.
If you’re a First Alliance Credit Union member, you can also increase the security on your account by using the MyCards feature on our mobile banking app. You can limit where your debit card and credit card will be used, and even how much you can charge per transaction, which severely limits identity thieves’ chances of breaching your account.
Adjust Your Budget for Your Trip
While you’re waiting in the airport for news on your flight, you’re probably thinking about your upcoming vacation anyway. So why not spend some of this time adjusting your budget and making sure your money will get put to the best possible use during your trip?
If you have a budget (also known as a spending plan) already, odds are good you either have a digital copy of it. Pull it up and think about what you’ll probably be spending on during your trip. If you’re traveling to be with your family over the holidays, for instance, you might want to put more money in your budget categories for eating out and entertainment.
Of course, that money will have to come from somewhere, so take the money out of budget categories you probably won’t use while on vacation, such as groceries, clothing or even money you have put aside for gasoline.
Create your vacation budget today!
Wait for Your Flight Productively With First Alliance Credit Union
Finding out your flight has been delayed is never fun. However, you can use the time productively while you’re waiting. Make sure you know your rights as an airline customer, let your bank or credit union know you’re traveling and make sure the budget categories most relevant to your trip have some extra funding.
If you’re a First Alliance Credit Union member, you can also take advantage of our services to make the time you’re waiting more productive. You can open up our mobile app to look at the balances on your checking accounts and saving accounts, and you can even make sure your bills are all paid off thanks to our convenient electronic BillPay service.