When traveling a lot you are eventually doomed to come across a canceled flight or a similar annoying change in your plans. It happened to us a few years ago on our way back home with Norwegian from Helsinki. But how do you handle it when it is your parents that get stranded? Getting your parents home after a canceled flight? It is not so easy when you are not there with them.
My parents, together with my uncle and his wife, had spent the weekend in the Polish city of Krakow. Flying there from Stockholm-Skavsta airport with Ryanair is usually quite easy. Apparently, their stay in Poland went smoothly. That is, until a Sunday evening when they were waiting for their flight back home. As it turned out, the incoming flight was diverted to another airport due to the weather conditions around Krakow. The result was that they faced a canceled flight and the time was close to 11 PM.
Assembling the Support Team
We are three siblings. My brother had just returned back to Stockholm after taking care of the dog for the weekend, and my sister was preparing for the evening. I was enjoying my vacation in Athens. So with the use of a group chat, we started to go through all the options for getting our parents back home. Some of the questions we were looking at included:
- Were there any possible flights from Krakow?
- Which were the other airports are close by?
- Possible connecting flights?
We did all this to ensure that we had an idea about what to request once our parents finally got all the way to the service desk at the airport. As a customer, you must know how to ask for things.
New Route Home After the Cancelled Flight
The time had passed midnight when my brother finally (over the phone) had discussed the option with the overstretched agent at the airport. Unfortunately, most of our options were already overbooked.
- The direct flights from Krakow were full for several days ahead.
- The direct flights from Warsaw were full for several days ahead.
- There were no flights from Prague.
- Smaller Polish airports in the area had the same problem as the major one or missed flights completely for these days.
Luckily the available option was not extremely bad. My parents were booked on an evening flight from Krakow to Gdansk on Monday. Then on Tuesday morning, there was the final flight to Stockholm-Skavsta airport from Gdansk. In the end, this option meant that they were only around 36 hours late.
We then made sure to book them a room at the airport hotel in Krakow for the night as well as finding a hotel in Gdansk for their night there as well.
How Parents Can Make It Harder for You
Did the above sound like a simple solution? Parents usually find their way to make their children even more worried. How about slip and fall in the shower? That is exactly what my mother did Monday morning in Krakow. I wasn’t very happy when I called them to see how everything was going, just to hear that they were in the emergency room. That is not the news you want when already stressed about how they were doing.
Luckily only a few stitches and tape were needed to make her ready to go back to the hotel. The hotel was nice enough to let her stay during the day until the flight in the evening. It will be interesting to hear their investigation of the event in regards to slippery floors in the shower. Apparently, my uncle had almost done the same thing in the room next door during the night. Safety first during design and construction of a bathroom anyone?
All four have now finally arrived back home and I hope that they are all now well rested. A claim has also been sent to Ryanair for all the all the additional costs acquired during these extra hours. Let keep our fingers crossed that this will go smoother than I expect.