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5 Tips for Dealing with Business Travel Flight Delays

Updated on November 3, 2010

Flights are frequently delayed. It doesn’t seem like this problem should be as common as it is but unfortunately it’s a situation that we as travelers currently need to deal with. The problem can be awful for business travelers. The frequency with which they travel makes it more likely that these people will have to deal with flight delays than other non-frequent travelers. Additionally, these travelers typically have plans at their destinations including important business meetings and conferences. That’s why it is so important for business travelers to find smart ways to deal with business flight delays when they do occur.

The following five tips can be used by business travelers to help deal with this situation when it arises:

1. Anticipate that there may be a delay in your flight. The easiest way to deal with a travel delay is to know in advance that it might occur. Try to plan your business travel during a time of day that provides you with plenty of time to reach your destination. For example, schedule your business meetings for the afternoon and plan to arrive in your destination the night before or very early that morning. By setting yourself up to expect delays you’ll reduce the stress that can be experienced when they occur.

2. Create a back up plan for staying in touch with business associates and clients during a flight delay. For example, you may plan to arrive just in time for a business meeting. Plan in advance that you will participate in the meeting via smartphone video conferencing if for some reason your flight is delayed in you are stuck in the airport during the time that you’re supposed to be in the meeting. You may not need this backup plan but having it set in place with your business associates in advance will further reduce the stress that you would otherwise feel if your flight was running late.

3. Make the time productive. Bring enough work with you that you can fill up the hours in the airport with business-oriented tasks. This is simple to do now that most of our work is accessible on our computers and phones. However, you may bring additional items as well. For example, you may bring a business book that you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t gotten around to yet. At the very least you can use the time do some fresh business brainstorming. If you’re being productive with your time at the airport then you won’t be as bothered by the delays that arise.

4. Ask for compensation. If your flight has been delayed then you may be able to get some compensation from the airline. Let them know that you’re a business traveler (especially if you are a frequent traveler) and ask them if they can provide you with vouchers or put you up in a hotel room overnight. This gives you some personal perks during your delayed business travel. The company may be paying for your delayed flight but the voucher is all yours.

5. Take a vacation. Sometimes a flight delay puts you behind on your meetings and you are too stressed out to work during your wait. Give yourself a break instead and take a little mini-vacation. Many airports now offer sleeping areas, massage chairs, shopping, salons and nice restaurants so go ahead and indulge if you’re going to be stuck there for awhile. Alternatively go out into the city that you’re in and see an attraction while you wait for your late flight. Business travel often feels more like business than travel so this is a good excuse to enjoy the travel side of the experience.


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  • Ingenira profile image

    Ingenira 7 years ago

    I like the "take a vacation" idea. I did that once when there was a flight delay. I received monetary compensation to travel at the transit city and a free hotel stay.