Tags: travel news
Categorised in: Travel News
Even when everything goes right, traveling can be pretty stressful. When things start to fall apart, it can trigger a domino effect and you might feel like you’re the butt of some cosmic joke. Of course, some stories are worse than others but even a seemingly moderate issue can become a huge inconvenience.
When things go wrong, you should file a complaint and, if applicable, request compensation. In order to do this, you need to be prepared.
A Recent Experience
After my grandmother was received some serious medical news, I booked a flight out to see her. Both my departure and arrival airports are smaller and offer fewer flights. It was a major inconvenience, therefore, when my flight was delayed due to a maintenance issue. With no help from the agents, I had to call to rebook my connecting flight.
Our much-later connection was also delayed but, this time, due to a missing crew member. By the time I landed at my destination, I had missed all of the things I’d planned to do, was exhausted and had incurred out-of-pocket expenses.
We had problems on one of our return flights too. By the time we got home, I was ready to swear off traveling. Instead, I took action. Here are my suggestions for what you should NOT do in a situation like this.
Fail to Keep Notes
Be annoyingly diligent about documenting everything that happens if things suddenly go downhill. Make note of people’s names, if possible, the exact time and include as many details as possible. You’d be surprised by how easy it is to forget things just a few hours later.
Regular pen and paper is great but if you keep the notes on your phone, you are less likely to lose them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written something down and never saw it again. You can also take screenshots of messages and alerts you’ve received, if applicable, since many complaint forms allow you to add attachments.
Whatever you do, don’t lose those receipts! You never know when you may be called upon to prove you paid for a hotel room, made a car reservation or bought items out of pocket while you were delayed (or your bags were missing/lost).
You might be rushing around, understandably, but whenever possible, take the extra 30 seconds to put each new receipt in a secure location in your luggage. Take pictures of them, if need be. Just don’t lose that evidence!
Blame the Wrong Person
It’s easy to take your frustration on the person standing right in front of you but, unless the problems are the direct result of their behavior, they don’t deserve the tongue lashing and they probably don’t have all of the answers.
I worked at the call center for a major travel insurance company and it didn’t help things when customers were screaming at me. Usually, I felt really sorry for them but there was only so much I could do.
Skip the Insurance
As I mentioned, I worked for a travel insurer and, before understanding how it works, I always declined the policies when they were offered. After seeing how beneficial they can be, I make sure I’m covered every single time I travel. I even get policies for events such as concerts or marathons.
It’s important to know, however, that not all coverage is the same so it’s important that you read through everything and reach out to the insurer with any questions. Often, if it doesn’t meet your needs, they can find a product that works better. It’s worth it.
Lose Your Cool
You are definitely going to want to have a meltdown at some point. You will want to cry, yell, stomp your feet or make demands. You might cuss or call someone a name. I’m here to tell you from personal experience that you will only lose ground and embarrass yourself. This will not curry you any favors.
Instead, try to manage your stress in some other way. You definitely don’t have to act like a doormat but addressing the situation in a mature, measured and calm manner will speak volumes to your character.
Whether it’s your first time stepping on a plane or you’re a frequent traveler, the unexpected could derail your plans at any minute. Think ahead and expect delays. With the right mindset and preparation, you’ll navigate this ugly moment like a pro.