When Travel Goes Wrong…What To Do If Your Flight Get Canceled

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When Travel Goes Wrong

I really wish I wasn’t writing this right now. I am supposed to be in Key West. Instead I am at home – in Columbus, Ohio – writing an article called, “When Travel Goes Wrong”.

My husband and I got up bright and early to head to the airport for our Key West anniversary trip  I was so excited.   The trip has been planned for a long time and it was all paid for with points and miles! We were going to spend 4 nights relaxing in beautiful Key West. However, the universe had different plans for us.

When Travel Goes Wrong...What To Do When Your Flight Gets Canceled.
We were supposed to be spending the weekend relaxing at the Hyatt Centric Key West Resort and Spa. Image Credit: Hyatt

WTF Delta!

As we were driving to the airport I noticed that our flight times were pushed back a bit. Delta seems to change the flight times of every flight I have been on with them, so while I was irritated, I wasn’t surprised.

Wait a minute….then I noticed that not only were we leaving later, we were arriving later – much later – after 2 connections!  WTF Delta?!

I discovered that there was bad weather in Atlanta 2 days prior and therefore Delta collapsed to the ground like a crumbling building… Fine, whatever.

I was pissed, but what could I do. As we approached security, I was having trouble locating my mobile boarding pass. My husband and I searched for a bit then I heard my husband say, “this new flight is TOMORROW!” WTF Delta!

I called customer service…there was a 2+ hour wait. WTF Delta?!

Delta could not get us to our destination in any reasonable fashion so we ended up having to cancel the whole trip. WTF Delta?!

It’s Not The First Time We Had A Travel Mishap

This isn’t the first time we have had trip plans get mucked up last minute. In October, we were scheduled to go to Freeport, Bahamas with some friends. Unfortunately, Hurricane Matthew happened and Grand Bahama Island got hit hard.

The resort we were planning to stay at ended up closing for months while the island tried to recover.  Thankfully, we had a few days notice so we were able to shift things around and ended up in Miami.   I was so thankful that all I had to do was move around my vacation plans.  So many people were devastated by the storm – losing their homes, possessions and even family.  I was one of the lucky ones in this case.

While we were in Miami I ended up with a bad case of food poisoning just as we were about to board a boat for Day 2 of our Open Water Scuba Diving Certification.  (Food poisoning + Port-a-Pottys don’t mix well in case you were wondering.)  But I got through it and now I have a story to tell about my first time scuba diving.

When Travel Goes Wrong...What To Do When Your Flight Gets Canceled.
I took it all in stride when our Bahamas trip was canceled and we ended up in Florida.

My Reaction This Time

I didn’t take the high and mighty road this time.  I wish I could tell you that I took it like an adult.  But I didn’t.

I bitched.  I moaned.  I complained.  Ok, I cried a little too.

When Travel Goes Wrong...What To Do When Your Flight Gets Canceled.
How I felt after realizing my entire trip was going down the tubes!

My husband remained calm and collected through the whole ordeal (ugh, positive people can be really annoying when you are in a foul mood).  So, I admit, I didn’t react well.  I was really looking forward to this trip and was excited for the activities we had planned.  But I get it – this is a major #FIRSTWORLDPROBLEM.  I know.  I am still one of the lucky ones.

Now What?

After looking at all the options we decided that we had to fully cancel the trip.  By the time Delta could get us there (with 2 ridiculous connections) we would barely have 2 days and it wasn’t worth it for the amount of travel we would have to do.

We looked into trying to get a flight somewhere else, but that really didn’t work out either (and that would have been a pricey option!)  We are going to make the best of it and have a little “staycation”.  So, while this trip ended up in the toilet we are still taking advantage of days off work and our daughter being at grandma’s house by heading to nearby Hocking Hills.

Tips For Dealing With An Effed Up Vacation

  1. Stay calm.  (aka don’t react how I did)
  2. When calling to cancel reservations, be polite. The customer service reps on the phone didn’t ruin your trip so don’t treat them like they did.  If you are pleasant they will be more inclined to help you out (shoutout to Hyatt customer service for waiving the 1 night cancellation penalty)
  3. Take it to Twitter.  I’m actually not a huge fan of twitter, but when you need some fast acting customer service, sometimes it’s the way to go.  Many airlines, hotels, etc will respond to your problem in almost real time.
  4. If your flight was canceled like mine, try to look on the bright side (again, not like me) and make the best of the situation.  Check out activities closer to home that you can try.  See if there are any nearby bed and breakfasts or hotels that you could stay at for a few nights. You can still get that vacation vibe (aka not cooking and cleaning) even if it’s not where your vacation was supposed to be.
  5. If all else fails, go get some nachos and a margarita.  You will feel better eventually.
When Travel Goes Wrong...What To Do When Your Flight Gets Canceled.
If all else fails, have a margarita…or 3!

Pro Tip: Make sure you have some reef safe sunscreen with you for your trip to Key West — the city voted to ban certain harmful sunscreens in an effort to protect the coral reefs!

Planning To Go To Key West?

I will get this trip rescheduled at some point (although probably not as soon as I would like…my calendar is pretty full this year).  So I will be able to review all of the activities we had planned…eventually.  However I wanted to give a shout out to 2 of the companies we were planning to use.  They were wonderful even though I had to cancel things last minute.  Good customer service is so important!

  • Captain’s Corner Dive Center:  We had scheduled a reef dive with them and I was so bummed to have to cancel only 1 day ahead of time.  We actually hadn’t paid yet so I didn’t have to argue for a refund.  They were so understanding on the phone, even though I was bailing last minute.  I will plan to dive with them as soon as I can make it to Key West!
  • Yankee Freedom Dry Tortugas Ferry:  They were also so gracious even though I was canceling only 2 days ahead of time!  The tour out to the Dry Tortugas looks like a lot of fun and will be on the bill as soon as I can get this trip rescheduled.

So there you have it.  My bitch and moan session about my canceled Key West trip.  #firstworldproblems are a good thing to have.  I just need to keep reminding myself of that.  Happy Travels.

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When Travel Goes Wrong...What To Do When Your Flight Gets Canceled.



This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Riely

    That’s awful especially without much notice of the delayed flights! I would cry and complain if this happened to me as well. I am glad you tried to make the most of it with a staycation. Hope you make it to Key West soon! This forewarns me to never use Delta airlines.

    1. Katie @ ZenLifeandTravel

      Seriously – Delta is the worst!

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