7 Tips to Make Winter Air Travel Easier

     Winter snowstorms happen. Along came flight delays and cancellations. These are some tips to make your air travel easier when the flurries start flying:

  1. Purchase a non-stop flight if possible. Even if it’s a little more expensive. If you must connect, pick a warmer weather airport such as Phoenix or Dallas rather than Chicago or Denver. Connect through an airport less likely to get snowed in.
  2. Monitor the status of your flight. Set up flight notification with your carrier. Track your flight through flightaware.com. This site’s flight data seems more reliable than the airline websites.
  3. Arrive at the airport super early. If your flight is affected by the weather, perhaps you can get on an earlier flight or reroute through a different connecting city that is less affected.
  4. Buy a one-day airline lounge pass. It’s more comfortable to wait there, and the staff can assist you with alternate flights rebooking and the lines are usually shorter than in the terminals.
  5. 5. If the delays are significant, check with the airline to see if you can fly out of a different nearby airport, or fly into a different airport and if that might help. Then, continue with rental car or Amtrak. But you also need to make sure your checked-in bags will follow.
  6. Airlines often offer waiver of change and cancel fees if there are snowstorms causing significant delays. If you no longer want to take the trip due to the delay, ask for a full refund, or move to a different set of dates.
  7. If you have travel insurance, which I always propose you have, call to find out your coverage. They can reimburse you for hotel and car rental and even meal expenses if you are forced to overnight or extend your stay until the storm clears. Many also has concierge services to help you make those travel arrangements.

Try to be flexible. Stay positive. Getting upset at the airline and their staff won’t solve the problems. You will get to your destination.  Go to the bar, or the lounge. Get a drink. Watch a game.  Enjoy the journey.

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