Flight cancellations can cause great inconvenience and wreak havoc to your travel plans. But sometimes there is a silver lining.

This week our members share times they have benefitted from flights being overbooked, cancelled or delayed. Numerous passengers have been compensated with free upgrades, free hotels and bonus frequent flyer points, and one member tells of an extraordinarily lucky flight change.

A number of members have benefitted from overbooking. One member was re-routed, but still arrived at the scheduled time – and received free upgrades and cash compensation for their trouble! Another Melbourne-bound member was able to switch to a direct London-Melbourne flight after originally only being able to book via Sydney. They were even upgraded to First class on the Melbourne flight!

One member’s Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong was delayed, resulting in a missed onward connection to Sydney. They ended up enjoying a night in Hong Kong, paid for by Cathay Pacific. The real kicker is that this member had wanted to book a stopover in the first place, but their company travel policy wouldn’t allow it.

Some members have benefitted from extra points and status credits after they were re-routed and had to make an extra stop.

Arguably the best story comes from docjames. This member’s father was booked on a United flight from Los Angeles to Sydney – via Honolulu and Auckland – in 1989. The non-stop flight was originally fully booked, but a seat became available at the last minute. This was exceptionally lucky as the original United flight suffered an explosive decompression after departure from Honolulu, killing nine passengers.

Have you ever benefitted from your flight being cancelled, delayed or overbooked? Join the discussion HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]