Rebooking Canceled Flight

March 25, 2015
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. My flight was canceled and I was told that the airline could not get me on another flight to my destination until tomorrow, because all the flights were full. How do I get home?

    A. Flights are more full these days due to the capacity cuts over the past few years. It can be a major hassle to rebook a flight after it has been canceled, especially at peak travel times when most flights are at or near full capacity. Acting fast is essential and being proactive to change routing in advance of a major storm can help you get to your destination as planned.

    One suggestion is to call the airline while waiting in line at the airport to try and get ahead of the line for rebooking. Also, if you are flying out of a hub or there are flights going out to other destinations from where you are, look into other routings. We have a handy list of links to airlines' route maps here. Sometimes you may be able to piece together an odd routing that the airlines' system won't come up with by simply inputing A to B. Have a look at the departure board at the airport and see what flights are actually leaving and see if you can work out a connection. It may mean an extra stop, but it may get you home the quickest.

    Also, look into nearby alternate airports and taking ground transportation. A little creativity during flight cancelations can sometimes help you get you where you want to be sooner.

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