Things you don't want to hear

There are certain words you never want to hear on holiday. While some may represent a minor inconvenience, others may spell the end of a happy journey.

According to Smarter Travel, these are the nine dreadful phrases you could hear and what you can do about them:

Your flight has been delayed/cancelled
Hearing this as you’re standing in the airport gate lounge is simply heartbreaking. But if you have text alerts or use the airline’s app, chances are you’ll be better prepared. Availing yourself of technology gives you the option of changing your flight earlier, rather than with the fray of passengers also scurrying for a seat.

Your room isn’t ready yet
Even when you arrive after the prescribed check-in time, you’ll often be told that your room isn’t ready yet. Late check out or tardy cleaning staff may be to blame, but there’s a way to make this less painful. Ask the hotel to mind your bags and go on a reconnaissance tour of the town, or ask if you can use the gym, pool or spa while you wait. If the room still isn’t ready for you in a reasonable time, ask for some form of compensation, such as free breakfast, a drinks card or discounted rate.

We’ve lost your bag
This one is terrible and can ruin your holiday. First things first – call your travel insurance hotline. You do have travel insurance, don’t you? File a claim before you leave the airport, so the airline can deliver your luggage to your hotel (if they find it). Keep any receipts for costs incurred and you’ll be reimbursed by your insurance company.

Sorry, the gate is closed
A common travel error is arriving at the gate right on departure time. Most airlines will require you to be there at least 15 minutes prior. So, if you hear this sentence, your best course of action is to ask politely for a seat on the next available flight and to ensure that you’re there well in advance of the departure time.


Your flight is overbooked
If you have to be somewhere soon or make a connecting flight at the next airport, then this one could break you. Otherwise, it can be a minor blessing. If you’re told your flight is overbooked, you can go on the bump list and garner decent compensation in the form of flight credits, cash or upgraded seats on the next flight. It pays to know your rights if this happens to you, so you can be prepared to treat it as an opportunity rather than a problem.

No more room in the overhead bins, we’ll have to check your bag
There’s really not much you can do about this unless you’re prepared beforehand. Take a carry-on bag that fits under your seat, which you should be able to keep with you no matter the overhead bin situation.

Your passport isn’t valid
Avoid this by carefully checking your passport expiry dates as soon as you book a flight.

We’re sold out
This is why you book sightseeing tours, events and shows beforehand, unless, of course, you’re happy to wait for the next session. Booking in advance will often save you money on admissions, too.

I don’t have a reservation under that name
As soon as you make any booking, be it hotel, event or dinner reservation, print out a copy so you have evidence. Whether it’s because of computer or human error, reservations do get lost, so if you have proof of yours you’ll have a better chance of getting a room or compensation.

Read more at Smarter Travel


Have you ever heard these phrases on your holiday? How did you handle it?

Related articles:
The benefits of being bumped
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Hotel requests you should be making

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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