Canceled Flight

You’ve arrived at the airport early, dragging your suitcase behind you. You walk over to the check-in counter with your passport in hand, ready to get your boarding pass and head through screening. But when you reach the counter, the agent lets you know that your flight has been canceled.

Your travel plans are up in the air now. What should you do?

Wait for a New Flight

Do you still need to get to your destination? Start by checking with the airline to see when the next flight will be available. Ask the airline’s agent about your options. Do this as soon as possible—remember, there will be a flock of other passengers that will also need to get on flights to the same destination.

Your waittime will all depend on the circumstance. Ordinarily, you’ll be able to hop onto another flight after waiting in the airport for several hours. In other cases, you might be stranded for a long time. For instance, airlines canceled over 1,000 flights because of a severe winter storm in February. If the weather is severe, your airline might ground all of their planes until it’s safe to fly again.

Tackle Other Expenses

You might have to manage expenses like hotel bookings and meals while you sit and wait for the airline to get you on a flight. How can you cover these expenses?

Before you pull out your wallet, you should ask the airline if they offer any help for passengers in this position. They might have vouchers for meals and hotel bookings.

Do you have travel insurance? Check your policy. You might get some funding without having to file a claim and wait for it to get processed. This would allow you to cover essential expenses right away.

Without vouchers or immediate insurance benefits, you can dip into your emergency fund for help. After all, this situation could be considered an emergency. You’ll need food and shelter until you can make your way back to your destination.

And in the difficult circumstances where you can’t turn to any of these solutions, you can try a temporary payment method for assistance. You could use your credit card, or you could go to a website like CreditFresh to see whether you’re eligible for a personal loan. With an approved personal online loan, you could use borrowed funds to cover emergency expenses as quickly as possible. Once you’ve recovered and found your way back home, you can focus on a steady loan repayment plan. It’s that simple.

Remember to keep the receipts for essential expenses. This will help you when you file claims with the airline and your insurance company.

Make Insurance Claims

Have you signed up for travel insurance? Check to see if you have the right coverage for this problem.

Even though your flight was canceled, you don’t need coverage for “flight cancelation.” Cancelation insurance is not meant for flights that are declared canceled by the airline—it’s usually meant for any cancelations that you make before you go on your trip. For instance, if you get a serious injury a week before you’re supposed to go on a vacation and cancel your flight, this insurance coverage could reimburse you for prepaid expenses, including your plane tickets.

What kind of coverage do you need? You’ll need flight delay insurance. It’s referred to as a delay because an airline can technically get you on a flight — it will just be later than anticipated.

File your insurance claims as soon as possible. The earlier that you set that process in motion, the better.

Get Reimbursed

What if you don’t need to get to your destination? After an airline cancels your flight, it offers customers two options: a new flight or a refund. If you don’t want to hop on the next available flight, you can choose a refund. Federal law entitles you to a full cash refund for your airfare after a cancelation.

A canceled flight will leave you standing in an airport, wondering what to do next. These steps can help you figure out how to recover from this bad news. You can book a new flight, wait out the delay and get your travel plans back on track.