An excerpt from How to Travel Like a Neurotic Pro..
If your flight is cancelled, you are now in a race for your life. Your only goal is to talk to a customer service person as soon as possible. Everyone between you and that CSR decreases your chance of getting the next flight and increases your chance of spending the night in an airport. So: walk immediately to the nearest service desk and simultaneously get on the phone with the airline. Now you have two chances to talk to a human instead of one.
That last part about simultaneously getting on the phone and in line is crucial. The phone has usually worked for me and here’s my own personal trick. Use GetHuman (“GetHuman has millions of tricks and shortcuts to make sure you get help better and more quickly than ever before.”) Searching the site will give you precise auto-attendant keys pressed to get to a human fast. Look up your airline and get to it.
One final tidbit:
I also use Seat Guru to get the inside scoop on where to sit. Upfront seating is mandatory for me but the aisle doesn’t work as it’s not “Big Man Friendly™” with carts and people constantly bumping my wide shoulders.