As the busy holiday travel season gets underway and winter weather sets in, travelers need to be prepared for the worst and have a game plan if Mother Nature throws a curve ball at your airline travel. Here are some Travel Maestro tips for taking action in the event of weather woes.
Travel early in the day – An airline delay on one flight tends to cause a domino effect, backing up traffic for the next leg, so taking the first flight of the day minimizes the risk of being at the mercy of the weather at some upline airport. If possible, take a direct flight, avoiding the potential for missed connections. If you must take a connection, starting early gives you more opportunities to rebook a missed connection during the same day. Try to avoid short connecting times so a minor delay doesn’t turn into a missed connection fiasco.
Have a contingency plan – If there is a weather crisis, chances are the airline personnel and their reservation technology will be working at full tilt to reaccommodate passengers and that stress can certainly hamper the service you receive. Know in advance what other logical flight options exist so you are not totally at the mercy of their suggestions. Better yet, call your travel professional to handle the rebooking instantly, rather than standing in a long, slow queue for the harried airline agent while precious seats to your destination are being snatched up.
Secure a hotel room – If it is obvious that you are not going anywhere that day, do yourself a favor and get a hotel room…quickly. In weather situations, the airline will not usually pay for it, but you will be much more comfortable and well rested to resume the trek the next day if you sleep in a real bed instead of the hard plastic chairs at the airport. If the nearby airport hotels are full, check for rooms in the city. It will be worth the taxi ride there. Again, your travel professional can act quickly and efficiently to get you a bed.
Pack purposefully – Make every effort to carry on your bag so that you will be more flexible in the event of a weather crisis. If your bag is checked, you are often limited in changing your flight. If you must check your main bag, be sure to pack anything you will need for the next day in your carry-on: a change of clothes, prescription medicines, eyeglasses and your personal electronics. A couple energy bars or protein-rich snacks can also be a godsend if it takes longer than you anticipated to reach your destination.
Inevitably, winter weather affects airline travel, but if you know the ropes and have a plan, you can minimize the pain. The most important tip we can offer is to make your reservations through a professional travel consultant. When you book your travel with Covington, you can rest assured you will have a whole team of professionals at your service. We will use all of our vast resources to make your travel stress free and uneventful. Contact us to make your next trip arrangements.