It’s hardly an issue you want to deal with while flying solo, but flight delays with a student group can be even more daunting. They are an inevitable part of travel, but that doesn’t mean they have to be unmanageable. Preparing yourself by asking these questions beforehand can help you to better navigate those nasty situations at the airport!
- Do you have a connecting flight? The first question you should always ask is how your delay might affect a connection. How long do they anticipate the delay to be? How much time does it take to get from gate to gate? Is there a chance that your connection is delayed as well? Gaining the answers to these questions can help you to determine your next steps. If it is inevitable that you’ll miss your connection, it may still be best to transfer to the next airport anyway if they offer more connections to your final destination.
- Are there options to re-route through another city? Depending on your connections or the time of the delay, it may make more sense to be routed through another city. Make sure you communicate to the gate agent what your final destination is rather than what connections you have so that all options can be explored to get you to your destination in the safest and most efficient way.
- Are you already at the airport? Depending on where you are when you become aware of the delay, speaking to a gate agent often offers a quicker solution than calling the support line. Gate agents can access the full picture of when flights will be departing to your destination, connections offered, and how many seats are available on each flight to help you determine what is best for your group.
- Are you willing to split up your group? Obviously not ideal for student travel, but again, can work if you are prepared. Ask yourself- how many chaperones do you have? How many students would you be able to assign to each chaperone? What communication plan will you put in place? How will you inform the parents of where their children will be and who they will be with? If you feel secure and confident in these steps, splitting your group may be a quicker way to transfer your group to their destination.
- Do you have your travel provider’s emergency line? Your travel provider may not be able to connect with the airlines faster than you will at the gate, but we can definitely help with arrangements upon your arrival. If you have theatre or dinner reservations, or ground transportation at your destination, let your travel provider do the work of communicating and re-arranging those commitments- it’s what we’re here for! Forum will always offer as much support as we can to ensure a stress-free trip. Use our emergency number on your final itinerary or be sure you are opted-in for our Your Trip Assistant (https://www.forummusicfestivals.com/introducing-trip-assistant/) texting service for quick responses and access!
Travel delays can cause a great deal of headache, and we know it can be intimidating to plan these trips knowing the risk factors, but the payoff of a once-in-a-lifetime experience for your students is worth it all at the end of the day! Don’t let the fear of potential travel complications stop you from getting to your dream destination. Contact FET today at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started on your perfect itinerary!