Have you experienced this scenario wherein you are very excited with your trip, you are already in the airport and then suddenly, your flight was delayed twice and then eventually cancelled? And then when you finally arrived to your destination, you found out that your luggage was left on the airport where you came from? But, you better stop there, I’ve been hearing that these are usual circumstances in the Philippines, but these did not ever happened to us yet in there (hoping not ever), but here in Doha.
It was last August 2015, when Tep and I were very excited for our Euro trip. We booked a tour thru a travel agency for 10 days, so there’s a strict schedule that we need to follow. It was 1:00 am when we arrived at the Doha airport, since our flight will be at 3:00 am going to Dubai, then from Dubai to Venice at 8:30 am. Boarding time came, and it was announced that the flight will be delayed to 5:00 am, so we’re still good. Then it got further delayed to 7:00 am, and then after a while, they eventually cancelled the flight.
It was chaos, the crews didn’t know how to accommodate everyone and all of the passengers were already angry and arguing with them (You cannot blame us; we didn’t get enough sleep, we wanted to go and we’re hungry). This was the scene from 5 – 8 am. Good thing, Tep was able to learn that there was another flight leaving Doha at 8:40 am going directly to Venice. After a lot of disputes and discussions, they were able to transfer us, since if not, there won’t be any other flights to bring us there and we need to leave that day. We were actually considered lucky, as there were some whose flights were moved the following day.
They informed us about the transfer around 8:15am, so we have to hurry up because the flight was already boarding. We made it to the plane, dead tired and hungry, and before we knew it, we were already in Venice. The dilemma didn’t end there, after minutes of waiting in the luggage belt, we didn’t found our bags. We reported this and they promised that everything will be delivered to our hotel the following day, yes you heard it right, we will get it the next day. I only have my hand bag with important stuff (no clothes nor any toiletries) while Tep only have his camera bag. Anyway, we survived our first day and they indeed delivered everything to our hotel the following day, after our constant follow-ups.
Due to this not so good incident that we have experienced, I have listed down below some ways that we did to survive this dilemma, as well as some of the things, which I realized we should have done.
- Keep your cool and be patient. I know this will be a hard thing to do, especially in situations like this, but this will help you to think properly of your next steps, as well as for the airline crews to accommodate you appropriately. Shouting and arguing with one another will only create commotion, thus sometimes not resolving anything.
- Always have a set of clothing on your hand carry. This will help you survive the first day, just in case your luggage will go missing. Good thing our first stop then happened to be Venice, since there are a lot of tiangges and souvenir shops within the area where you can buy clothing and underwear.
- Know your bag by heart. Keep in mind the exact color, shape and size of your bags, as well as some unique items inside it, since once you reported a lost / missing luggage, they will ask for these information.
- Buy a travel insurance. I learned the worth of this when we experienced everything I narrated above. This will serve as a passenger protection just in case there are certain unavoidable incidents that may happen such as trip cancellation, baggage lost / delay, medical emergencies, accidents and others, you just have to know the coverage of your policy.
- Keep all receipts and supporting documents. Related to No. 4, keep all receipts and supporting documents (boarding pass, missing/lost baggage report, tickets, etc.) since these will be presented once you request for a claim or reimbursement from your insurance agency. Too bad, we were not able to keep all these, thus we were not able to claim anything (because we didn’t know that these are needed).
- Know the policy of the airline. Each airline have different policies when it comes to delayed / cancelled flights, lost luggage and other carrier related problems. You just have to visit their website to know your rights and claims as a passenger.
- Just enjoy. Charge everything to experience; don’t let stuff like these ruin your vacation. Well, they say that if you are an adventure seeker, these incidents are unavoidable.
These are just some simple tips I would like to share with you for international flights, I’m not very sure if this will be applicable for domestic flights, particularly in the Philippines.
So there you go, hope these will help. Have a happy and safe trip to everyone.
P.S.: We were booked with Emirates, but eventually transferred to Qatar Airways. These dilemmas does not only happen in budget / cheap airlines, you can experience it even in the world’s best airlines.