Jetshopper’s guide to flight cancelations

It’s time for my annual shopping trip to Hong Kong! Unfortunately I’m writing this from the Chicago O’Hare airport instead of the Mira hotel in TST.

After connecting from NYC and waiting 3 hours on the jumbo jet, the crew informed us of a fuel problem and asked us to disembark.

An hour later we learned that we’d be rebooked on a flight the next day and would be assigned a hotel with meal vouchers.

With a couple hundred people to compete with for hotel I quickly put on my JetShopper hat and adapted to the situation at hand. Here are a few tips:

Keep your ears open
There’s always that one frequent traveller that seems to have a leg up on the pack. I noticed a cute couple on the plane that had their new boarding pass before the crew even made the announcement. By following them to the counter I was able to speak to an attendant that told me to go to customer service to get keep my upgraded seat (since I’m not flying business I paid for a better coat seat – more than worth it on a 16+ hour flight +3 hours waiting!)

Customer service
If there’s a long line to get your voucher (I would have waited in line for at least an hour) go straight to customer service. I did, and ended up taking care of my seat first, and then the voucher from the same woman just 20 mins later.

Be open to making friends
Being friendly is always good advice, but it really pays off at the airport. By talking to people in the same boat, you get a better idea of what your options are.

Know your options
While in line at customer service I noticed the woman in front of me already had her voucher (she happened to be standing where they decided to form the line). They placed her in the Intercontinental – but everyone else I spoke to was placed in sub par motel-like hotels ranging from the Crown Plaza to the Howard Johnson! Since I knew the Intercon would likely be the best option, I requested it from customer service and go it!

Here are so pics of the room. Seriously the best hotel airport I’ve ever stayed in (well, have been lucky to only have stayed in 2, but I’m sure this ranks high on all time airport hotel lists).

Here are some pics!

On the plane now!

20121025-083210.jpg

20121025-083229.jpg

20121025-083259.jpg