News flash: aircraft are machines and sometimes these experience technical problems. Airlines hate cancelling flights, because it means a whole host of inconvenience for everyone plus some serious costs involved.
International flights are the biggest issue, especially if the cancellation takes place away from home base. When the only flight of the day is called off, what actually happens to the passengers? Well, on good airlines, everyone including economy class passengers will be treated well.
Cancelling After Departure
A friend of planned to fly economy class on Lufthansa from Singapore to Frankfurt recently, on her way to Toulouse. Everyone was on board the Airbus A380 heading to the runway when a technical issue resulted in a return to the gate.
Despite technical people looking into things, the issue was unable to be resolved which resulted in Lufthansa cancelling the flight. With an original departure time of 23:55, this happened in the early hours of the morning. A recipe for disaster!
Lufthansa Shows How It’s Done
At almost 3am, Singapore Changi Airport opened the immigration desks and everyone was permitted to re-enter Singapore. Buses and hotel accommodation were organised, with my friend being sent to a Mercure hotel. The whole process was quite simple and they were in bed by 4:45am.
Upon waking at 8:30am, they found an e-mail from Lufthansa advising they had been booked onto that nights Singapore Airlines service to Paris with an Air France connection to Toulouse.
Heading to the lobby, a representative from the airline extended my friend’s hotel stay, provided vouchers for meals and also advised a taxi would take her to the airport. She decided to spend the day using the fitness centre and pool in the hotel.
At the appointed time, it was off to the airport to check-in for the flight to Paris. There were reportedly no issues whatsoever.
Having your travel plans disrupted by a cancelled flight causes all sorts of stress. You might have to contact your work to advise you won’t be in, or the start of a holiday might be ruined. When it is a technical issue with the plane, there is not too much you can do.
An airline does have a responsibility to get you to your final destination. You can see from the example above the exact way it should happen. A seamless experience all round, without having to fight, scream and yell to get things done.
Personally, I experienced a flight delay on a flight from St. Petersburg to London once, so much so that the airport was closed and we had to get special clearance to get in. The handling of that was the same as above – I was put into a hotel overnight and my connecting flight was rebooked for the next morning.
Have you ever experienced the airline cancelling an international flight close to departure time? How were you handled when this happened? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.