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Even more reasons to download your airline's mobile app — summer flight delays and cancellations

June 2 2022
4 min read
Even more reasons to download your airline's mobile app — summer flight delays and cancellations
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If you were one of the millions of people who spent time at the airport this past weekend on your way to a Memorial Day weekend getaway, you already know what I'm about to say: Delays and cancellations are wreaking havoc in the skies, and schedules are very much subject to change.

There are several steps you can take when choosing and booking your flights to try and avoid some of the summer rush, such as taking the first flight of the day to help ensure your plane is already at the airport. However, there's no perfect way to predict if your flight will be the one to be canceled, rerouted or pushed back endlessly.

There is a way to help yourself, though, that's literally as easy as picking up your phone: airline apps to help you to track and rebook your waylaid flight.

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Download your carrier's mobile app before you leave home, so you'll be prepared with a solid tool for recognizing the first signs of trouble and being able to deal with the situation quickly.

Airline apps have other functions, of course. On United, for example, you'll need to upload your credit card information directly into the app if you want to purchase anything from snacks to Wi-Fi while you're in flight; a headache for some travelers.

But there are also lots of perks available in these apps that make them excellent travel companions, with everything from entertainment to airport maps built into the interface. One of those is the ability to view flight schedules and reschedule flights as soon as you see something has gone awry with your travel plans.

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(Screenshot from the Delta app)

Delta has a Flight Schedules tab that allows you to plug in your route and that day's date (or any other you're looking at) to quickly see what else is available if you're trying to book a new flight.

The Delta app also allows you to see the "On-Time Performance" average for a flight. Perhaps not surprisingly, based on the issues Delta experienced with staffing this season, many flights on the New York to Miami routing we checked hovered around the 50% mark, with this mid-afternoon option particularly troublesome. Consulting this rating as you pick a flight to book may help you avoid some of the worst delays on your route.

Related: Here's what to do if your flight is canceled or delayed

(Screenshot from the United app)

On the United app, you can see real-time delays and cancellations on all flights on your route the day you're flying. Choose the "Flight Status" in-app option, then "Search for Flight" and search by city.

If you're at the airport and worried about delays, you can also choose the pull-down menu in the United app for "Flight Status Details" and click "See More Flight History." You can follow and track your flight's history, answering the age-old question "Where is my plane?" Beyond letting you know that your flight is delayed, it shows you if the plane has left its origin airport yet and whether it's en route or not. If the answer is, unfortunately "No," you can put yourself on standby for the next available flight before most other travelers realize there's even an issue.

Depending on what airline you're flying with, different apps will offer different options. It's always worth checking to see what insights your app can lend to your airport dilemmas and have the opportunity to rebook your flight if you need to. Here's how to get an in-depth look at the perks of each airline's mobile app.

Featured photo by Carina König
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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