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Learning patterns/What to do when airplane lets you down

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A learning pattern forconferences
What to do when airplanes lets you down
problemThis Learning Pattern provides pointers on what to do when your plane is delayed or cancelled on your way to a Wikip/media event.
solutionCommunicate with the other people who are inconvenienced; and when to seek compensation.
created on10:40, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

What problem does this solve?


On the way to Wikimania 2017, my arrival was delayed by 2 days. There was a "technical fault" cancellation for the flight from Cape Town to Amsterdam - this was delayed by 24 hours. Once in Amsterdam, the flight to Montreal was cancelled (also a technical fault). This meant staying the night in Amsterdam and then flying to Frankfurt to connect to another flight to Montreal there. When I eventually arrived in Montreal, two days late, I had missed a session I had committed to present, and both bags were lost until after the conference finished.

What is the solution?


Delayed flights: Keep your temper, be patient and keep communicating with the ground staff (they are as shocked and irritated as you are at the change). Speak to your fellow travelers - a weird community starts. If you can find a different travel solution, then tell the carrier about it.

Your commitments at your event: Once you know where you are going, and when you will arrive, tell the people at your event what is going on. If you do not think you will make it in time for your presentation, then ask someone else to do it for you - send them your presentation and notes about it. Try to do it before you take the next flight so there is no additional stress on the side of the organisers.

Things to consider

  • Baggage: once there is a change in your schedule, there is a significant chance that your baggage will not arrive with you when you finally get to your destination. Always have some spare essentials in your hand luggage. Also, if you need things for your presentation (unless it is banners) make sure you have those with you in your hand luggage. NB: At baggage claim, only deal with the last carrier that you were on. If you were swapped to a different airline, there is no point in trying to talk to the original carrier in the hopes that will help. It doesn't and will waste more of your time. Fill out the forms, ask them for an essentials package (toothbrush and paste, etc.) and go shopping as soon as you have a window. Don't wait hoping your bags will magically arrive. Keep the invoices - you can also ask for compensation under certain conditions.

When to use


Use this when you are thinking about traveling to one or other of the Wikimedia events.



See also