I’ve boarded quite a lot of flights over the two years I have been in Turkey, more than I can count – actually I could but then I’d be horrified at my carbon footprints so I’d rather not (definitely more than 25 times only in 2015) – so it’s quite unexpected when I say I’ve had my fair share of unfortunate events in terms of delays and cancellations, some about which I still have nightmares. Different airlines have different conditions when it comes to cancellations and delays but what I’ve noticed is that they do tend to somewhat resemble each other although do check the conditions of the airlines you’re flying with just to be sure in case of a pinch.
For most, you tend to be eligible for a refund depending on the situation except for ‘extraordinary cases’ which seems to cover everything from bad weather conditions to strikes to air traffic restrictions, and of course, which seem to usually be the most common causes for delays and cancellations other than overbooking – you’re fucked basically. You’re however entitled to food and beverages for the waiting time, accommodation in a hotel if necessary and compensation if you’ve waited for 2 hours or more (again, airline-specific). Doesn’t make it any better especially if you’ve got a meeting schedule for the next day, or in my case, a day planned at London Zoo to meet some old friends (human and non-human). It has however gotten me into the habit to always check the status of any scheduled flight a few days before flying, which in my opinion is one of the most important things when flying. Also make sure that the airline has a contact number and/or email where you can be reached in case of an emergency. Most of the time, communication will be in the form of a text message or email, or both.
To: London, via Istanbul
Airline: Pegasus Airlines
What happened: An attempted hijack of a plane to bomb the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi, leading to the closing of the whole Istanbul Air Space.
What I learned: Always keep a clean pair of underwear in your handbag, just in case. Continue reading A series of unfortunate (flying) events