Thursday, May 15, 2008

How to Avoid a Cancelled Flight

As airlines find themselves pinched tighter and tigher financially, the easiest way for them to save money is to cancel a flight.

Of course I'd love to be able to write that if you follow this advice completely you'll never end up with a cancelled flight. But we all know I can't do that. However, these suggestions can put the odds in your favor that the flight you are booked on will be the flight you take off on.

Fly at Peak Times: The 8 AM from New York to Washington, DC is always going to go, barring weather or mechnical problems. The 9 PM flight maybe not.

Don't fly airlines which have just announced mergers: You can be sure that when airlines merge, some flights are going to be cancelled. Why take a chance it's yours?

Book closer to your departure date: Yes, this probably means paying more for your ticket. On the other hand, the closer it gets to your departure date the less likely that the flight will be cancelled.

Check out an airline's new destinations: As an airline strives to make a position for itself in a city, it might undercut the competition. If that competition is in a weakened financial state to begin with, flights may end up being cancelled. Case in point is Frontier's situation in Denver as Southwest establishes a foothold.


Anonymous said...

Of course, here I am buying a ticket for December already on Continental hopefully all will be well!!

Anonymous said...

Good advice, Diane. I hadn't thought about the consequences of a merger. In this day and age, it seems the trickiest part of flying is figuring out which airlines aren't likely to go bankrupt and fold up shop before you have a chance to take your flight. Do you have any thoughts on how to anticipate whether the airline you are booking on might actually be around by the time of the flight?

diane said...

I think any typical signs of a company in trouble would work. I'd certainly look for layoffs and cutbacks in flight schedule. Other than that, it's anybody's guess.