Secrets to fast rebooking when airlines cancel flights

American Airlines canceled 250 more flights on Monday after canceling 2000 over the weekend, citing crew shortages and high winds. Many passengers have been stranded at airports across the country for a day or two, waiting for the next flight.  

That's after Southwest Airlines canceled thousands of flights in early October. As several airlines approach a November 24 deadline for employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19, many travelers worry these cancellations could continue over the holidays.  

RELATED: Southwest cancellations: Lines persist in Las Vegas amid ‘more normal’ operations

We talked with two travel insiders about their secrets for rebooking flights quickly and protecting their money

Omar Kaywan was one of the thousands whose American Airlines flight was canceled this weekend.

"I was flying out of Dallas. Because of the winds, my flights were canceled. I had to stay an extra night," he said.

RELATED: Hundreds of American Airlines flights canceled, delayed Monday

But that hotel stay was covered through his travel insurance. Kaywan is the co-founder of Goose Insurance.

"If your trip is canceled, before you depart for your trip, you can have recourse for the non-refundable portion of your trip cost. Or if your trip is interrupted while you’re on your trip and you're trying to get back home, and you can’t, there are resources available to get you some refunds," said Kaywan.

You can also buy travel insurance in case you catch COVID 19 during a trip.

"Plan ahead, be prepared and don’t travel unprotected. For $30 or $40, you can travel with peace of mind, with confidence should something happen," said Kaywan.


Summer Hull with The Points Guy says her secret is to pay for travel with a credit card that provides travel insurance.

"The Chase Saffire Reserve, the Chase Saffire Preferred, Amex Platinum are really good with giving you built-in protections," she listed.

Hull suggests travelers start tracking their planes on previous flights.

"Opt into all notifications for your airline, so you are one of the first to know there is a problem," said Hull.  

" is great site. You put in your flight number and click to see where my airplane is coming from," Hull explained.


If your flight is canceled, don't wait for the airline to rebook you.

"If you’re in the airport and you have access to the airline lounge, those agents are generally really good at rebooking. Don’t just be the 150th one in line. If you have to get in line, be on the phone at the same time," suggested Hull.

Hull says you can also send direct messages about rebooking to your airline on Twitter, call its international line, or its Spanish-speaking line if you speak Spanish. She says you can often reach an agent faster.