Mother Nature holds no bounds and doesn’t care if you have an important meeting across the country or family waiting back home. Weather and other delays can ruin any traveler’s day. However, should you find yourself stuck in an airport, we have 9 tips to hopefully help you weather the storm.
Call the Airline – When delays occur, a long queue often forms at the airline’s ticket counter. While waiting in line, dial up the airline at the same time. Often you will get ahold of a reservationist before reaching the front of the line and who commonly will have more information and options available to you.
Go to the Lounge – If you are truly stuck at the airport for an extended period, head to the airline lounge if they have one. Not a frequent flyer member or cardholder? Ask an airline representative for a temporary pass for your troubles.
File a Trip Delay Claim – Trip interruption, trip delay, and trip cancellation insurance can relieve some of the financial burdens travels delays present. If your flight is delayed or cancelled, trip delay insurance can cover the cost of meals, overnight hotel room stays, transportation expenses, and the cost of unused booked hotels missed as a result of a travel delay.
Search for Alternatives – Airlines are myopic in their solutions as they can only access their own reservation system with limited access to others. Look for alternative flights on your own along with other modes of transportation which may not be as impacted by the weather such as train or bus routes.
Request Another Carrier – Although airlines can look to book you on another airline, some airlines may not appear in their systems. Using other airline websites or search engines such as Kayak, Google, or Expedia can reveal alternative options which you can request your airline to reimburse you for.
Change Your Connection – If it is your next destination experiencing weather delays, consider connecting through a different airport. Although the travel duration may be extended, avoiding delays at the next airport may well be worth the extra mileage.
Track the Incoming Plane – Airplanes do not fly strictly between two points. Instead, most airplanes fly numerous legs before returning to the same airport. This means the airplane you are waiting for likely is not flying in from your destination. Learn where your plane is arriving from, check the weather there, and track the inbound plane on your own to determine if you should make alternative plans.
Depart from Another Airport – There are certain locations when traveling by car, bus, or train to another airport may remove you from the severe weather. For example, you may be able to drive 3 hours south of a Chicago snowstorm to Indianapolis where skies are clear, and planes are departing on time.
Remember to Say “Please” and “Thank You” – During bad weather and flight cancellations, the airline representatives are likely working hard under lots of pressure. They are people too, and often have discretion on deciding who gets that extra seat or other useful resource. As you deal with your interruption, do your best to calm down and remember to show appreciation to those who are helping you. Not only is saying “please” and “thank you” free, it might help you resolve your delays faster.
Weather delays have a way of wreaking havoc on our travel plans. Travel insurance will protect your wallet from the unexpected costs while a little leg work and creativity will have you reaching your destination before others have even begun to find a solution to their travel woes.