5 Steps to a Better Airport Experience When your Flight is Delayed

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How to Claim Compensation for Delayed Flights and 5 Ways to Make it all Better!

Airports - no matter how hard they try to entertain, amuse and distract us, most regular travelers will always have something of a LOVE-HATE relationship with airports! While there are plenty of things to do in airports to help us pass the time, that only stretches so far when a flight is delayed, and the airport starts to become a bigger part of our precious holiday time than we anticipated. After all, the only reason we go to the airport in the first place is to get to where we want to go, right?!

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According to a study by the U.S Bureau of Transportation Statistics, over 1 million flights were delayed between June 2015 and June 2016. You can imagine how many anxious passengers that translates to. No matter if you are a business or a leisure traveler, if your flight has been delayed, you might miss your connecting flight, transfers, important meeting, or worst of all a day or more of your limited holidays! (This study counted any departure of 15 minutes late or more as a delay)

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At the end of the day, there’s no escaping the reality of a delayed flight; you just have to deal with it! How you deal with it is totally up to you. Would you rather sit there stewing in anger, tapping your feet and pacing the terminal building, or find creative ways to turn your situation around to enjoy your time and even claim some compensation for your delayed flight, using a website or app like Service?

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First of all, it’s important to know that you can claim for compensation if your flight is delayed, depending on the location, the exact circumstances and the length of the delay. You can certainly dive in and tackle this by yourself if you want to, but be aware; rules about flight delay compensation claims vary widely depending on your departure country and even by individual airlines. In the US for example, airlines are not legally obliged to compensate passengers for delays, but they often do anyway as a goodwill gesture. In the European Union, passengers are legally entitled to compensation for delays of three hours or more, but the actual “EU 261 Regs” (see below) show that it may not be that simple. You have to be traveling on an EU-based airline, be traveling to or from an EU member state and the cause of the delay must not be “due to extraordinary circumstances.”

To claim compensation, you first have to determine if you are eligible, then contact the airline in question to find out how to file a claim. We all know how much fun that is!

Is there a better way to claim for compensation for delayed flights?

Apparently, there is, and it’s a very cool app called “Service,” which is a travel app and website that can claim compensation from airlines on your behalf, probably in the form of vouchers or miles, if your flight is delayed. All you have to do is sync your email inbox to your Service account; then they will automatically scan for any cancellations or delays over 90 minutes that you experienced in the past 12 months. If they find any, they calculate the amount of compensation you could receive, and you can file a claim easily just by hitting a button! If you activate the Auto-Protect feature, then Service will file a claim any time it detects a flight delay, without you having to do a thing! What’s even better, is that they don’t charge a thing if no compensation is awarded and they only charge 30% of the value of any compensation that is awarded.

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In short, Service removes all of the complexity, uncertainty and even the time and effort from applying for compensation for delayed and canceled flights! After all, that is what prevents most of us from applying for compensation and causes the greatest amount of frustration when we do.

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It’s so easy to get started with Service, that you won’t even need to look at the simple, step-by-step guide we’ve left for you at the bottom of this page! Just open getservice.com in any internet browser or search for “Service” in your mobile device app store and install. You can create an account in seconds, add your email address for Service to monitor for delays and cancellations, then sit back and allow the system’s awesome software to scan your inbox for past, present, or future flight delays!

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While we’re on the subject of airport experiences and flight delays, we thought you could benefit from a few of our tips for improving our time in the airport!

Check out our simple 5 step process for making the most of your delayed flight, so that it doesn’t have to ruin your whole trip:

1. Be Prepared

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No matter how short you plan to be at the airport, you can always make it a more pleasant experience. If you arrive at the time you are advised to, then even without delay you’re going to have time to kill. The same tried-and-tested old advice stands true because it works - book, kindle, water, snacks, the preloaded movie on your phone, music, podcasts, crosswords, sudoku, even a kids coloring in a book! Bring some simple tools with you to help pass the time in your little world for at least a couple of hours.

2. Know your airport

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This means more than just knowing what terminal you need check in at, or finding a coffee shop close to your gate. More and more airports realize that there is a lot more than they can do to improve the experience they offer. Changi Airport in Singapore has five beautiful gardens, all with different themes and varieties. Several airports around the around have introduced teams of cute, friendly dogs who patrol the terminals sniffing out stressed passengers in need of some puppy cuddle time! Other newly introduced facilities include museums, planetariums, music concerts, and even full movie theatres!

3. Consider a Paid Lounge

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Until recent years, paid lounges have always been considered an executive level of airport luxury, but that has been changing. If you explore most major airports today, you can find a good quality premium lounge for a little as $20 USD! Of course you can also pay a lot more than that, but you really don’t have to. At the very least, a paid lounge will provide you with comfortable seats, a simple buffet, soft drinks, a small selection of beer, wine and spirits, private WC’s, and some televisions. If we are on a layover, then we try to find one with showers, so we can freshen up between flights. If you are already in a comfortable lounge with all of these extra comforts when you get the news that your flight has been delayed, you’ll probably take the news a lot better than if you’re sat on a hard bench seat in a busy corridor!

4. Claim Compensation for your Delayed Flight

So you’ve already done a lot to improve how you handle the unexpected extra time you have to spend in the airport. You are more calm, relaxed, and practical and the whole situation, so you’re going to be even happier when you find out that you could get some compensation for your delayed flight!

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“Service” is our favorite, newly-discovered travel app, which automatically detects delayed flights in your email inbox, and they can make a claim for compensation on your behalf! They just take 30% of any compensation you are awarded, with no charge if compensation is not awarded. We have always known that in some instances we could be entitled to compensation when our flights have been delayed, but by the time we arrived where we were going, we were just happy to be there and couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of finding out how to apply for compensation, or if we were even entitled to it! The fact that we now have an app on our phone that will do all of that for us and even apply for the compensation automatically means that if any of our flights are delayed in future, we could have something else to make us feel better before we even start any of the steps above! As soon as you install the app and add your email address, it will even scan for any delayed flights you experienced in the last year, that you may still be entitled to compensation for!

Go ahead and try it out by downloading the app on iPhone (iOS) and soon on Android. See our (very) quick guide to getting started with Service at the end of this post.

5. Go on a Mini Food Tour!

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This might sound slightly absurd, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. You’re going traveling, either for a vacation or a business trip. What is one of the best things about visiting new places? Trying new food! Larger airports have loads of choices of places to eat, many of the international cuisine. If you are as into food travel as we are, then you’ll probably agree that food is one of the best comforts and an even better distraction. You don’t have to have a full meal at every eatery, just grab one random snack or appetizer from the menu and then move on to the next one!

This article originally appeared on my blog.

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