Your flight was delayed/canceled. Now what?

In some cases, flights are even being canceled after passengers have already boarded.

Airline passengers – eager to hit the skies after more than a year after the pandemic stifled the industry – are facing a slew of delays and cancellations. 

In some cases, flights are even being canceled after passengers have already boarded. The stress of having to find a backup plan is being felt by customers across the industry. 

Recently, Southwest Airlines canceled about 600 flights and delayed more than 4,000 between last Friday and Sunday, according to reports. Then, on Monday and Tuesday, the airline delayed a combined 2,355 flights, according to data from global flight tracker FlightAware.com.

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American Airlines customers have also fallen victim to delays and cancelations. At the end of June, the carrier canceled around 80 flights per day and confirmed that it would adjust a "fraction" of its flight schedules in July. 

The changes in American's operations stemmed from both a reported staffing crunch and unprecedented weather at its largest hubs. In fact, on Thursday, an American Airlines flight out of Charlotte was canceled even after 172 passengers had already boarded due to "severe weather conditions, which restricted air traffic throughout the mid-Atlantic and Northeast," an American Airlines spokesperson told FOX Business.  

Travelers walk through in Salt Lake City International Airport, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

To help, the major carriers have offered some tips for perturbed passengers in a crunch to find an alternate option. 

American Airlines told FOX Business that passengers have three options when faced with a cancelation. 

One option is to hit their scheduled flight in the American Airlines app. Passengers can search for alternate flights and reschedule their travel plans immediately. Passengers can also change their flight online under the "your trips" on aa.com.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES UNDER FIRE FOR DELAYING, CANCELING THOUSANDS OF FLIGHTS

If a passenger is already at the airport, they can use a kiosk to scan their boarding pass to re-book their travel.

"A customer at the airport whose flight is impacted by irregular operations is provided a special number that will connect them to a Reservations agent to assist them with an average wait time of less than 30 seconds," an American Airlines spokesperson said. 

On a similar note, United Airlines also urges customers to use the carrier's app, go online to united.com/checkin or use a kiosk at the airport to handle any travel disruptions. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC. 45.27 +0.73 +1.64%
LUV SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. 49.58 +0.50 +1.02%
DAL DELTA AIR LINES, INC. 40.78 +0.67 +1.67%
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP, INC. 20.33 +0.60 +3.04%

In under five minutes the airline claims customers can check if they already have a new flight, rebook their flight, join the standby list or find alternate airports. 

If a passenger joins the standby list, the airline noted that the passenger won’t have to give up their confirmed seat on their rebooked flight nor will they have to pay any standby fees. 

"If your flight is delayed more than an hour or canceled, or you missed a connection, we’re actively looking for ways to get you back on track and may have already found you a new flight," the airline's website reads.

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Southwest Airlines told FOX Business that the carrier encourages its customers to visit Southwest.com or to call the carrier at 1-800-I-FLYSWA. If a customer is already at the airport, they are encouraged to visit a Southwest Airlines customer service agent. 

Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines noted that the carrier has only faced a "light" amount of cancelations. The airline had about 18 Delta connection/regional partner flight cancelations as recent as Thursday due to 
"weather and air traffic control congestion in the U.S. Northeast," a Delta spokesperson told FOX Business. 

However, the carrier still has protocols in place to help customers who are in a pinch, even if they need to change a trip within 24 hours of departure. Passengers can use the Same-Day change feature to browse an array of alternative flight options. 

If a passenger's flight is canceled or they miss a connection because of weather, the airline will automatically send them a notification directing them to another flight option in the app.

AMERICAN AIRLINES EXPECTS TO CANCEL AROUND 80 FLIGHTS PER DAY THROUGH JUNE

Currently, Delta’s Operations and Customer Center (OCC) – including a team of 25 meteorologists – are "monitoring weather systems stretching along the East Coast to the Southern Plains" for the upcoming holiday weekend, according to the carrier. 

Delta, which noted that domestic leisure travel has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, projects to see about 2.2 million customers between July 2 to July 6. 

"If your flight is delayed or canceled for any reason, you will be automatically rebooked and can use the Fly Delta app to manage travel plans," the carrier wrote in a note to customers Friday. 

To monitor flight status, passengers can monitor Delta.com or the Fly Delta app.