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Ways to Beat Airport Delay Blues


Author: Guillermo

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Uh oh! We’ve all been there – you’ve arrived for your flight, but there’s a problem. The plane has been overbooked, a storm is approaching, or there are strikes in the terminal. Airport delays are an unpleasant reality for most of us, whether you’re on an important business trip or jetting off for an exciting holiday. They can ruin the start of your trip and keep you from diving into your nice warm bed at the end of it. However, with the help of these handy tips from YOTEL, you can beat the airport delay blues. 

Step One – Avoidance tactics

Some delays are inevitable but you can do certain things to increase your chances of avoiding airport delays. First, do your research. Certain airlines and airports have better track records when it comes to delays, so before you book your flight see what you can find out about your options.

Quick tip: websites like Flight Stats provide comprehensive information about all past flights from different airlines and airports. Past performance isn’t a guarantee, but at least you’ll know where you stand.

If you can, book flights for times when delays are less likely. This means avoiding busy travel seasons like the Christmas peak. It’s also helpful to fly earlier in the morning, as delays often have a knock-on impact on subsequent flights, although you might run a higher risk of being delayed by morning fog.

Quick tip: Research shows that Friday is the day most likely to be affected by delays. Conversely, you’re least likely to encounter airport delays on Saturdays – the more you know!

Step Two – Prepare for action

You know what they say: those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Whether it’s fully charging all your tech so you’re not cut off mid-wait, or packing only hand luggage so you’re able to reroute easily – preparation is key!

Quick tip: Load up your e-reader with your favourite books, queue up the series you’re currently marathoning to your tablet, or make sure the work you need is available offline on your laptop.

Peace of mind is invaluable when the worst happens, so buy some travel insurance. Having insurance can cover any extra costs you incur or make sure you’re properly reimbursed for your trouble.

Quick tip: Buying insurance for the whole year to cover several holidays can be about the same price as single trip insurance, and will mean you’re covered for last minute changes to your schedule. Make sure your policy covers you for all kinds of delays.

Also, make sure you’re able to check on any changes instantly, whether it’s keeping up to date with the weather forecast, strike action, or airline specific delays; keeping your mobile device to hand can be key, and logging into a stable WiFi connection can help.

Quick tip: Many airlines now have apps where you’re able to sign up for free push notifications on your flight. This will put you in a prime position when it comes to knowing about possible delays.

Step Three – Have a battle plan

No matter the delays, the key thing is to remain flexible. It might be quickest to be rerouted via another airport, for example, especially if you’re travelling sans checked luggage.

Quick tip: Arriving early can help you reach your destination faster, as you’re able to spring into action at the first sign of trouble: hopping into a line at a different airline counter or even phoning customer service to secure unassigned seats on another flight instead of queuing.

Being flexible can mean being ready to abandon your plans completely, especially when it comes to severe weather or airport wide strikes. Choosing a different mode of transport for all or part of your journey can get you on your way much faster.

Quick tip: Download a car sharing app such as Uber or Lyft, so you can split the cost of your journey with others. This can get you to an unaffected nearby airport for a fraction of the cost. Plus, as a bonus, you might make some new friends. 

Step Four – Acceptance

Did you know that the Wright Brothers had to delay their maiden flight for three days because of bad weather? Flight delays have been around as long as flights have been. Sometimes, delays are unavoidable and it’s easiest to just buck up and accept it.

Quick tip: Changes of air travel plans can be stressful. Take several deep breaths and use mindfulness apps like Headspace, adult colouring books, or even just your favourite tunes to help relieve the pressure. Of course, a swift half at the airport bar might also do the trick for you.

If all else fails, the best thing to do is treat your airport delay as a mini vacation. Get an airport massage or pedicure, treat yourself to a nice meal and browse the shops. Then, find a quiet space and settle down to an activity you enjoy. Stock up on your favourite snacks, grab something to drink and make the most of the time where you literally have no choice but to relax and wait it out.

Quick tip: If you want to really relax, you can make the most of YOTELAIR ’s airport cabins, showers, and lounges. We’ve got power points, free WiFi and a variety of food and drink, as well as black out curtains and super comfortable beds. Sleep tight!

YOTELAIR hotels are located inside terminals, steps from the boarding gates, at London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle

Author: Guillermo

Guillermo is our YOTELAIR Gatwick hotel manager.

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