Flight canceled or delayed? Freebird to the rescue.

It’s inevitable. You absolutely, positively must reach your destination. But a storm, a mechanical failure, or missed connection is turning your flight into a classic travel nightmare. In our book, 300 Healthy Travel Tips, we dedicated an entire chapter to dealing with the unexpected.

Yes, you can and should get on the phone with your airline to get another flight. Or instead of standing in line like everyone else, go to another gate and get an airline agent’s help. Or sign up for your airline’s first class lounge to get the expert services of their staff to help you. Or, call your travel agent, a tip we recommend.

But there’s another way: Freebird. And it’s a service you’ll want to remember. Freebird is a simple mobile solution that lets you skip the line and instantly book a new ticket if you encounter a flight cancellation, significant delay of four hours or more, or a missed connection. You can even do this if you’re traveling using reward miles.

Here’s the good part: You can do this with any U.S. domestic airline using only three taps on your phone.


So how does Freebird work, you ask? If your flight is delayed or canceled, or you miss your connection, the Freebird service will send disruption alerts via SMS text message to your phone and provide access to rebooking services on their mobile-friendly website. Then, pick one of the alternate flights offered, and with a simple tap, you can be booked on a new flight to your destination.

The video on the Freebird website tells the story. And this Bloomberg video takes a deeper dive.

There’s no app to download, simply a mobile-friendly website. One requirement: Your phone must be able to accept SMS text messages, and today, pretty much every phone will have that feature.

There must be a catch, right? Not really. Just purchase the Freebird service (priced at less than $30 per one-way trip) at least two days before your departure. And as noted, Freebird works only with U.S. domestic flights. That’s it.

At the moment, we’re keeping our eyes glued to Hurricane Irma and saying prayers for anyone in its path. Irma will cause significant disruptions not only where it may hit, but also a wave of flight cancellations and delays across the U.S. It’s times like this when Freebird could save you a world of travel nightmares.

The trick to getting past any travel nightmare is to stay a step ahead of the crowd. We think Freebird is a must-have for any air traveler who thinks there may be trouble ahead.

About the Author

Brian Teeter is author and publisher of the Healthy Trekking travel guidebooks.  Become a smarter traveler by reading his new book, 300 Healthy Travel Tips available on Amazon and Apple iBooks.