It’s never fun when your flight gets canceled. There are several things you can do when your flight is canceled from making sure you get a hotel room, getting compensated, to planning ahead and having other options. But there’s one secret travel hack that can save you hours of frustration and get you on another flight.
Secret Travel Hack: What to do if Your Flight is Canceled
Stuck at the airport because your flight was canceled? And you’re one of the hundreds of people who are in the same situation? Here’s what you need to do to get a seat on the next flight.
When weather causes flight cancellations, everyone at the airport is stuck in the same situation. But you can be the exception.
Don’t wait for hours in line at a customer service desk or a gate. Be in the know and do what frequent fliers do when their flights get canceled. Head immediately to the closest airport lounge for the airline you were flying.
Pro-tip: A Priority Pass airport lounge membership gets you into over 950 airport lounges worldwide. You get free Priority Pass membership and airport lounge access from these cards.
Why Go to an Airline Airport Lounge
When your flight is canceled because of weather, the staff at an airport lounge offers you the best chances for getting on another plane.
1. Shorter Lines
You’ve seen the lines at the airport when a flight is canceled. They wrap around and around. And the wait is tiresome and long. But you can avoid that in an airport lounge because the lines will be significantly shorter. Think maybe 10 people at the most instead of 100.
Not only will the lines be shorter, but there will be more customer service representatives available. The airport lounge staff can rebook you on another flight. And because the agents in airport lounges typically aren’t as stressed as the agents in the terminal, you won’t feel as tense.
3. Refresh and Relax
Why stand around waiting in the terminal when you can have a seat while the airport lounge agent finds you another flight. Enjoy refreshments, access your email, and get work done with the free Wi-Fi.
Free Airport Lounge Access
If you don’t have a Priority Pass membership, you can get free airline airport lounge access if you have one of these credit cards:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express – free entry to Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges*, and Delta Sky Club (when flying on Delta)
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express – Centurion Lounge, Priority Pass Lounges*, and Delta Sky Club free entry (if flying Delta)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card – free entry to Priority Pass Lounges and Chase Sapphire Lounges
- Citi(R) / AAdvantage(R) Executive World Elite(TM) Mastercard(R) – gives you free entry to American Airlines Admirals Clubs
- Citi Prestige – gives you free admission to Priority Pass lounges
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card – free entry to Delta SkyClubs **
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card – Delta SkyClub free access **
- United Club℠ Infinite Card – gives you free admission to United Clubs
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card – gives you free admission to Capital One Lounges and Priority Pass Lounges
If you don’t have a credit card that gives you free lounge access, you can buy a day pass on American Airlines Admirals Club Day Pass for $59 per person or 5,900 American miles. Or a United Club Day Pass for $59 per person.
*Enrollment is required for select benefits.
** Starting February 1, 2025, Reserve Card Members are limited to 15 Delta Sky Club Lounge visits per year. You have to spend $75,000 or more in eligible purchases on your card between January 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024 and each subsequent calendar year for unlimited visits.
Pro-tip: Delta stopped selling day passes. If you have a Single Visit Pass, you can still use it for club access until it expires as long as you’re flying Delta or on a SkyTeam airline.
It could be worth paying for a day pass to save time, relax, and have somewhere pleasant to wait for your next flight.
If your flight is canceled, make sure you know the one secret hack that will save you hours of frustration and help you get rebooked on another flight sooner.
Go to an airport lounge. You’ll get helped quicker than at the customer service desk or gate.
With a Priority Pass membership, you can get into over 950 airport lounges all over the world. You can also get free airport lounge access from certain credit cards.
This trick will only work if you’re flying on American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines, or one of their airline partners.
If you’re flying on Southwest, JetBlue, or Frontier, you’re out of luck. Unless you have a Priority Pass membership that gets you into any participating airport lounge regardless of which airline you’re flying.
Would you pay $50 to $59 to avoid waiting hours in line and get booked on another flight sooner?
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