No matter what time of year you’re flying, weather can affect your flight. From severe summer thunderstorms to nasty nor’easters, Mother Nature can wreck havoc on your plans. But there are four things you can do:
- Pay attention to the weather and have a back-up plan. If you suspect your flight might be cancelled, what should you do? You should look at alternative airports and flights. A flight that is scheduled earlier or later or at another airport may not be impacted so be proactive. If all else fails, is it a possibility to hire a rental car or take a train instead? If I have an international connection and I feel that my domestic/internal flight is likely to be delayed a long time or cancelled then I will book another REFUNDABLE flight or rental car or train ticket. Be sure the airline has your email address so that they can send you updates. Recently, I received an email the night before my flight that it has departing an hour later. This email kept me from sitting at the airport an extra hour.
- Ask about a storm waiver. Most airlines will permit you to change your flight if there is a major storm coming. Some allow this without penalties while other airlines may impose some restrictions.
- Don’t move. Even if the airline rep tells you that it’s probably going to be an hour or two at least, don’t drift off. They often don’t know much more than you and you may be in an airport TGIFridays while they are making an important announcement at your gate. You can go to the restroom or grab something to eat or drink at a vendor near your gate. Or at least leave someone in your group at the gate so that they can call or text you with important updates.
- Be prepared. Have a mobile device with you loaded with useful apps, books, music, and more. Travelers these days have to have lots of patience. If you shrug off inconveniences then you will always be the better for it. As a frequent traveler, I am aware how challenging that can be at times (and believe me I hate sitting in airports and on runways as much as the next guy), but I know that it is best for me if I keep calm and have a good attitude. You could always be worse off than being delayed in an airport, believe me. At least an airport is safe and has heat and air and lights and food and shopping and restrooms!
FYI: Have you heard that perks are coming back? Domestic airlines have finally realized that travelers are fed up with the lack of amenities and the hefty surcharges. One of the biggest U.S. carriers, American Airlines, has announced that they will be serving food again to folks in economy on all transcontinental flights starting in February and all domestic flights by April at no extra charge. They are also offering better on-board entertainment, including your choice of 60 television shows, 40 movies, and 300 songs. First class passengers will receive brand new and improved amenity kits and all airport lounges are receiving major makeovers. Other airlines have already hinted that they will also be upping their game. Amen!