What to do if your flight will get delayed and puts your cruise at threat

Even though all people hopes their cruise holiday vacation will go as planned, unforeseeable situation may arise that could threaten you from even acquiring to the cruise port.

If you stay close to the cruise port, like in southern Florida, you will probable have fewer difficulties acquiring to the port by using automobile or train. Having said that, if you dwell considerably away and want to take an airplane to the port metropolis, you may operate into far more troubles, these kinds of as a flight delay or cancellation.

For my new cruise on Carnival’s Mardi Gras, I followed the golden rule of cruising: always fly in the working day ahead of your cruise leaves…and I however almost missed my cruise!

Considering the fact that I are living in South Dakota, I experienced to e-book a flight to Orlando, Florida, so I would be shut to the embarkation port: Port Canaveral. My journey experienced a connection in Dallas, Texas, but I experienced a long sufficient layover (an hour and a 50 %) that I did not have to get worried about building my connecting flight. 

I was scheduled to land at 9 p.m. the night prior to my cruise this gave me lots of time to get a decent night’s rest right before my 7-day voyage.

Very well, that all transformed when I woke up to a text from American Airlines that my flight was delayed. It was the dreaded message no one would like to see although touring.

As I opened the American Airlines app, it notified me that I will most possible not make my link in Dallas to Orlando. At this moment, I had to swiftly rearrange my programs, so I could make my cruise in Port Canaveral the next working day. It was stressful and busy, but I uncovered a handful of strategies and lessons along the way.

Under are the techniques I took to make guaranteed I bought on a flight the working day ahead of my cruise. If you at any time obtain oneself in a identical problem, these steps may perhaps come in handy for you, as well.

1. Act speedily

As quickly as I noticed that my flight was delayed, I sprung into action. Despite the fact that it was only 9 a.m. and my flight wasn’t right until the late afternoon, I realized it was vital to start producing a new approach.

On the American Airways app, it mentioned I could transform my flight without the need of any penalties or fees. I appeared at this alternative, but all the option flights they offered had been just plain terrible. In fact, none of the alternatives were being for the exact same day and almost nothing experienced an arrival time that would allow me to make my cruise. 

Each and every selection was all around 20+ hours of travel with extended layovers. I questioned myself, “Was there seriously practically nothing superior they could present me?”

When the application wasn’t substantially assistance, I made a decision to contact American Airways instantly and request for a lot more option flight possibilities. Due to the fact I was touring from South Dakota, I did not have a lot of selections to begin with. The only other flight to Dallas experienced already taken off at 7 a.m., so I desired to discover a different plan rapidly.

2. Exploration choice flight possibilities

When the American Airlines app failed to provide everything handy, I straight away called the airline. On the cellular phone, I was originally instructed they could not get me to Orlando that identical day, confirming the app’s availability. This was when I begun to worry.

I made a decision to phone my sister (a very well-seasoned traveler) to aid and look up alternative flight possibilities from Dallas to Orlando for the exact same day. If you are operating with a vacation agent, you ought to get in touch with them to start with to have them help you.

To my shock, there had been three flights later than my initial flight (the one I likely would not make with my limited relationship owing to my delayed flight). I wrote down each individual flight selection and time, which proved to be extremely practical during the working day.

My sister and I seemed at alternate flights on other airways, such as Southwest, Allegiant, Frontier, Spirit, and so forth. Because Dallas is a major hub, I was hopeful that finding to this airport would give me additional solutions to make my cruise in Orlando.

3. Obtain close by airports shut to the cruise port

Recognizing that I may possibly not be equipped to get to the Orlando airport in time for my cruise, we began to seem for option airports that could be an option. I wasn’t capable to vacation to any close by airports in time, but this could be an option for you to consider if you dwell by numerous airports.

Once more, the American Airlines agent confirmed that I couldn’t fly into Orlando, as all the later on flights from Dallas ended up entire. I was certainly developing discouraged at this issue!

The good thing is, Florida has quite a few airports through the state. As extended as I could get within driving distance of the port, I would be equipped to make my cruise.

Considering that I was not in a position to fly to Orlando that working day, I experimented with to find the subsequent nearest airport. Soon after chatting by way of my alternatives, I made a decision to get a flight to Tampa, which was supposedly the final out there seat on the flight. This would suffice because Tampa is two hours from Port Canaveral.

Right here are the other airports I regarded flying to so I could get near to Port Canaveral:

Port Canaveral (Orlando)

Orlando International Airport (MCO)
Orlando Sanford Intercontinental Airport (SFB)
Melbourne Orlando International Airport (MLB)
Daytona Seashore Global Airport (KDAB)

Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale), Port Miami (Miami), Port of Palm Beach front (West Palm Seaside)

Miami International Airport (MIA)
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Intercontinental (FLL)
West Palm Seaside Worldwide (PBI)
Southwest Florida Worldwide Airport (RSW)

Port Tampa Bay (Tampa)

Tampa Global Airport (TPA)
Saint Pete-Clearwater Global Airport (PIE)
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ)

4. Have a program B in position

From the start out, American Airways didn’t give me a lot hope that I would get to Orlando in time. The app only had terrible possibilities, and all of the flights that day from Dallas were apparently entirely booked.

My sister, becoming the seasoned traveler that she is, identified two one particular-way flights on Delta that would get me to Orlando on time. Most other flight solutions were costing thousands of pounds, but this was only $700. This alternative with Delta departed in a few hrs, so I experienced a compact sense of aid knowing this could operate in a worst-case scenario.

If very little else, I needed to know I could get to Orlando on any airline. My technique was to get to the cruise and figure out the economical reimbursement from the airlines later on.

It is always smart to have a backup prepare. Just after acquiring your airline ticket, look at other options for receiving to your cruise port that exact same working day and map out potential routes you could book. Acting quickly will preserve you time and dollars!

5. Travel insurance documentation

Even though on the mobile phone with American Airways, I requested for documentation from the airline that I could use for vacation insurance plan reimbursement. This is why it is crucial to have journey insurance plan for cruises, and I was so grateful in this occasion that I did.

For the reason that I had to fly to Tampa, I had to get a new hotel and e-book transportation to the cruise port. This was an sudden price tag thanks to the airline’s delay. Considering that there had been supposedly no seats for flights to Orlando that day, I asked the airline to supply that assertion in creating, so I could have it for documentation.

Of system, flying to Orlando was most well-liked, but I was organized to devote funds out of pocket to ensure I could get to the cruise, even if it intended traveling to a different city.

6. Try to get on the standby list

Prior to heading to the airport, I asked American Airways if I could get on a standby checklist for the impending Orlando flights. Given that these ended up substantial planes with lots of individuals touring, I knew there was a likelihood that an individual could overlook their flight and a place would open up for me.

Once more, Dallas experienced a few other flight possibilities to Orlando! I was hopeful that having on the standby checklist could get me to my supposed site, even if it meant patiently waiting at every single flight gate for an open up seat. Considering the fact that I was traveling alone and only with a have-on, snagging a seat was far more likely an option for me. If I was traveling with checked bags or in a large team, receiving on the standby record would be very difficult.

The agent on the cellphone told me to question at the Sioux Falls airport about finding on a standby record for the Orlando flights, so I experienced this intention when arriving at the airport.

7. Go after alternatives at the airport

(Pictured previously mentioned is me enthusiastically waiting in line at the airport)

In the course of this ordeal, I uncovered that I continually needed to advocate for myself in a kind and respectful method. If I had just approved my fate from the airline, I would have missed my cruise. It was only because I took motion, did research, and advocated for myself that I (spoiler inform!) was capable to get to the port on time.

I went to the Sioux Falls airport early, so I had loads of time to figure out a plan and wait around in line if essential. As soon as there, I questioned the American Airlines agent if I could get on the standby list for the future Orlando flights. The agent advised waiting around right up until I land in Dallas to get this sorted on the other hand, I felt a lot more assured getting this sorted out at a smaller airport like the Sioux Falls Regional Airport in which they could devote far more time to my predicament.

Yet another agent was inclined to help appear for empty seats and standby solutions for me to get to Orlando. I whipped out my list of flight numbers, moments, and options that I preferred. Currently being arranged permitted the agent to function speedily, and it paid off.

The agent was in a position to swap between all of my solutions as he appeared for an open seat. For about 30 minutes, he labored diligently to check out all of the possibilities that I had researched previously. Many thanks to this good employee, a place miraculously opened on the last flight of the day to Orlando! Shout-out to Bruce for getting so patient and heading earlier mentioned and over and above to support me get to my cruise as planned!

With the new, printed tickets in my hand, I breathed a sigh of relief. What an ordeal!

In conclusion, I recommend you adhere to these suggestions when reserving a flight for your cruise:

  • E book immediately with the airline and prevent third-party internet sites. In circumstance of a flight hold off or cancellation, you will want to contact and get the job done right with the airline. You could also look at scheduling a flight via the cruise line.
  • Reserve direct flights if doable. If you have to have a layover, try out to restrict how a lot of you have. Also, make absolutely sure just about every layover is an enough volume of time (additional than an hour). If the layover time is much too small, you may perhaps miss your connecting flight.
  • Obtain vacation insurance policies to go over unpredicted costs with flight delays or cancelations.
  • Stay clear of booking flights on airlines that only work at the time or 2 times a 7 days. If your flight is delayed or canceled, you will have to wait around a handful of times till the next flight.
  • E book the earliest flight of the day. This way if a little something goes mistaken, you will have more flight selections to get to your location.