Dealing With Cancelled Flights? Here’s What You Should Do!

Flight Cancellation

Posted on Jun 28th, 2022  by  Heena Ganotra,  Last updated on  Aug 4th, 2022

A cancelled flight can cause a lot of disruption, especially if you’re running on a tight schedule. The last thing anyone wants is to arrive at an airport, and wait for the boarding to begin, only to be informed about a flight cancellation. 

The key to salvaging your trip lies in acting quickly and efficiently instead of panicking or becoming frustrated. Flights are usually cancelled because of natural disasters or unexpected events so the solution may not be as easy as booking the next flight. We have some tips and suggestions that will help:

1. Be Prepared

Uncertainties can pop up during travel and it is important to leave room for them in your plans. Unless it is absolutely unavoidable, leave some time in your schedule for delays or hurdles. Outright cancellation is relatively rare but a flight delay is fairly common. To be prepared, you should:

  • Ensure all your important documentation like visa, tickets, passport, COVID-19 vaccination and test papers, etc, are in order. 
  • Check in as early as you can. Most airlines open online check-in 24 hours before the airline is scheduled to leave. 
  • If possible, travel with only a carry-on. That will make changing flights and switching gates easier. 
  • Become familiar with the airline’s rules if a flight is cancelled or significantly delayed. It is also a good idea to brush up on Australian government rules on the matter. 

Becoming familiar with the regulations will ensure you understand your rights and are in a better position to negotiate with the airline if something happens. 

2. Get Information

The second step is to figure out exactly what happened and determine when you can fly out again. Immediately after your flight is cancelled, approach the airline’s agents at the gate. Be as polite and compassionate as possible because these agents will be getting a deluge of complaints soon. Politeness and understanding are often rewarded in such situations. 

The questions to ask are simple:

  • Why was the flight cancelled?
  • When can you fly out?
  • How much will the switch cost you?
  • How do I get a refund?

Get as much information about the situation as you can from the agents at the airline’s counter. In most cases, the airline will be willing to provide seats on the next flight out. However, most Australian airlines are fairly hands-off and won’t do much beyond that if the cancellation was unavoidable due to weather or any sort of situation out of their control. 

If the cancelled flights happened due to their own negligence or error, they are more willing to compensate. This is why it is important to understand the reason behind the situation.

3. Booking an Alternate Flight 

Depending on the situation, you may be able to book an alternate flight that leaves fairly quickly. If the flight’s cancelled due to weather, the situation is probably universal and no other airline’s flight will be able to fly until the weather is clear. 

However, if the flight is cancelled due to other issues, you may get an alternative and the airline may offer to rebook you. All major Australian airlines like Qantas, Virgin Australia, Tiger Airways, and Jetstar offer rebooking facilities and assistance. 

4. Can You Get a Refund?

If an airline cancelled flight and you can’t or don’t want to rebook, getting a refund is possible. However, different airlines handle this differently so it is a good idea to look up the refund policy on the airline’s website. Here’s a look at these policies in brief:


Qantas Airlines provides full refunds if the flights are cancelled within 72 hours of the departure time. In most cases, they will be able to rebook you on the next available flight. However, if that option isn’t desirable, they will provide a refund. You may get a full refund if:

  • The airline cancels the flight and can’t offer suitable alternative rebookings.
  • If the airline delays the flight significantly and you are forced to cancel your trip. 
  • If the airline changes the flight schedule and you are unable to follow it and their rebooking alternatives aren’t acceptable. 
  • If you have a confirmed reservation and the airline still wasn’t able to carry you. 
  • If you missed a connecting Qantas flight due to delays or cancellation.

Under these conditions, Qantas may initiate a full refund. We recommend visiting the airline’s website to understand its policy fully. If you’re a frequent flyer, make sure you understand the guidelines if the airline is cancelling Qantas Frequent Flyer flights.

Virgin Australia 

Virgin Australia provides rebooking, travel credit, or a full refund for significant delays or Virgin flight cancellation. The airline complies with Australian consumer regulations and will do its best to accommodate you. 

  • If Virgin Australia changes or cancels the flight time before the day of the travel, you can either make the recommended changes, request a travel credit, or request a refund.
  • If you incur any additional costs as a result, you may request compensation as permitted under the Australian Consumer Law.
  • If the cancellation or changes happen on the day of the service, you will be notified and rebooked on the next available Virgin Atlantic flight. 
  • If the VA flight isn’t an acceptable alternative, the airline will endeavour to rebook you on a different carrier’s flight.
  • If neither of these options is acceptable to you, request a travel credit or a refund. 
  • VA may also provide Meal Vouchers if you agree to a rebooked flight and must wait for a while in the airport.

We recommend reading the entire Guest Compensation policy on Virgin Australia’s website before travelling or before making a claim. 

Tiger Airways provides either credit to your account or a full refund for flights cancelled. They will also provide rebooking assistance and alternatives. Jetstar will provide a travel credit and/or a meal voucher based on the circumstances of the cancellation. 

5. Connecting Flights After Flight Cancellation

Cancellations or delays can cause considerable trouble if you have a connecting flight ahead of you. If your current airline is with a codeshare agreement with the connecting flight carrier, they will be able to arrange a rebooking for the connecting flight as well. This won’t cost you anything and your journey will be smooth (something to remember when you’re booking a flight.)

However, if the airlines don’t have a codeshare agreement, you may have to incur additional expenses and make arrangements yourself unless you have booked through a travel agent. Agents usually know what tricks to employ to avoid additional expenses and have a smooth rebooking. 

If you face any issues, contact your airline immediately and start working on a solution with them. In Australia, you’re protected by the Australian Consumer Laws, and internationally, you are protected by the Montreal Convention. However, if the airlines prove that they did everything in their power to prevent losses to their customer, the cost may just fall on your shoulders. 

It is best to work with the airline cancelling flights to come up with a solution to the connecting flights dilemma. Fortunately, if you have booked tickets with a travel agent, they will do the legwork for you. 

6. What About Accommodation After My Flight Cancellation?

If you’re forced to stay in a hotel overnight, Qantas and Virgin Australia will probably compensate you for all reasonable costs, this includes a meal voucher and reasonable compensation for a hotel stay. Low-cost airlines like Tiger Airways and Jetstar will not provide these facilities so you will have to pay for them out of your pocket. 

Usually, bad weather or natural disasters force people to stay overnight, which means the airline cancelled flights due to situations out of their control. They can’t be held completely liable for the situation. However, most airlines will help you with finding accommodations and arranging transfers to ease your burden. 

We recommend getting travel insurance to help with all of these unexpected events. These expenses will be covered and your travel will go smoother. After the arrangements are made, all you need to do is make a few calls to ensure everyone expecting you understand you will be delayed. 

Sometimes cancelled flights can’t be avoided but you can be prepared and know how to act when it occurs. That will make your journey less stressful. 


Q. What should I do if my airline cancelled international flights today?

Ans. The steps we have mentioned above are also applicable to international flights. Just make sure you speak with the airline’s agents immediately and contact your travel agent as well. Both will help you sort out your trip, even if it is an international flight. s

Q. What if the connecting flight arrangements aren’t satisfactory?

Ans. If the connecting flight arrangements aren’t satisfactory, you can cancel and reschedule the flight yourself with the help of your travel agent. You may need to pay the difference out of your pocket. 

Q. How long does travel credit last?

Ans. Travel credit after cancelling flights can last for anywhere between 6 months to a year. We recommend checking with your airline to understand how long it will last before making any plans. Don’t let the credit lapse as that would mean you lost your money. 

All of this sounds like a big hassle, doesn’t it? That’s where a good travel agency can help. 

If you experience unexpected delays or cancellations during your trip and have booked the tickets through our platform, agents from MyTicketsToIndia can help. Just call on 1800 860 816 and our travel agents will reply promptly and start working on alternative solutions for your flights to India from Australia or back. We offer 24/7 support on all days of the year.


About Heena View All Posts

A writer by both passion and profession, Heena Ganotra is "half agony, half hope" but all heart. And oh, she has been a book lover from the start! Her love for books is what convinced her to make a career in the wonderful world of words. She loves what she does and is out-and-out a satisfied soul with a wish to spread happiness like herpes. Insight- Some say she is living the best life anyone could because she reads, writes, travels, and makes merry. They’re right because what else does one really need! 🙂

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