If you travel often, then you’re probably somewhat, if not extremely, familiar with flight delays. It’s especially annoying when you really need to be somewhere and maybe cut your trip really close to the belt, and you hear someone’s voice over the PA telling you you’re basically going to be even later than you already are. And you have to spend hours sleeping in the airport lounge
Africa’s Number 1 Hotel booking Portal, Jovago.com has put together simple measures you can take to avoid these disappointments and their ensuing anger-induced HBP. Here are a couple of tips to help you avoid flight delays.
1. Avoid Repeat Offenders
If you travel often, chances are you’ve used almost every airline. Except you’re one of those people who prefer to be faithful to one particular airway. Either way, you’ve had one or two experiences with delayed flights, sometimes from the same airline, so you should know those airlines that have developed a habit of running late. If you don’t travel a lot, ask people who do for their honest opinions on different airlines. There are always enough stories to tell, good and bad. “Experience is often the best teacher.” they say. But who says you have to wait to experience to learn?
2. Check Flight Notifications
A good number of flight booking websites offer you the option of receiving free notifications on information about the flight you have booked – delays, gate changes, check-in, etc – either via email or text. Sometimes, it’s actually pretty helpful as some airlines will inform you the flight will be delayed well in advanced. Other times, not so much, as some airlines tend to wait until the last minute, when you’re already seated at the airport, to announce a delay.
3. Choose Direct Flights
Connecting flights are certainly much cheaper, but when a delay in your first flight causes you to miss the connecting one, you’re the one who’s really at a loss. More often than not, the fare difference between connecting flights and two separate flights isn’t even that phenomenal or life-changing, but we want the surplus so we can grab a few snacks or drinks. If you have an important meeting or event to catch up with, my advice is to forfeit the luxuries and just fly direct.
Still prefer connecting flights? Then you need to make time-conscious decisions. Always pick the layover with the widest time gap. 45 minutes might seem like a really long time for you to be waiting for your next flight, but break it down this way:- possible 10- minute delay, 10 more minutes to get off the plane and/or baggage check, another 10 minutes to get to the connecting gate, and the 10 minutes before the departure door closes. Barely any time to catch your breath, really. When you opt for the longer layover, you have more time to do all you need to. If you arrive early enough, sometimes you can speak to someone at check-in, explain you’re on a later flight and would like to go with an earlier one if there’s space left. More often than not, they’ll be glad to bump you up (later flights tend to be overbooked).
4. Avoid Late Flights
With every minute your flight is delayed, your options become more and more limited. I find it’s best to book a flight in the middle of the day, or a couple of hours ahead of the last flight. This way, when things get tight, you can still find a solution that doesn’t completely screw you over.
5. The Early Bird
When you take airport traffic, long check-in lines, and security checkpoints, the hurdles set up to slow down a traveler in a hurry can be quite tedious. And what’s worse is the more time you spend overcoming these hurdles, the greater your chance of getting delayed or missing your flight completely. Leave home early so you can arrive at least an hour before your flight. Most flights start check-in half an hour to departure and close the gates 10 minutes before, so make sure you get cleared and stay close to the gate.
6. Expect the Unexpected
Don’t schedule your trip so that the events are all riding on the back of one another. Allow enough time for surprises in-between. If you have to be at a meeting by 3pm, don’t take the 2pm flight because it’s a 30 minute flight and you don’t want to “dawdle”. Take the morning flight. This way, you’re accounting for possible delays, as well as traffic and any other inconvenience that might pop up.