Winter Weather Woes – Air Travel

So, in the last post I discussed how to prepare for the lovely winter weather that so many people endure.  By winter weather I am speaking of snow, ice, and sleet.  Elements like these can really disrupt your way of life.  Of course they cannot be any more disruptive than when you are flying to, from or through some of the areas that tend to be impacted the most by winter weather – Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Washington, DC and Detroit.  Coincidentally, these locations are often major connection points for most air carriers.  So, what can you do to avoid a disruption to your travels?

  1. When booking travel, try to avoid the areas that a notoriously impacted by winter weather and prone to flight cancellations or delays.
  2. Make sure your travel plans are flexible.  Therefore, in the event that your flight is delayed or canceled, you can move to plan B (and C if necessary).  When serious inclement weather is in the forecast, most air carriers will allow you to change your flight or cancel it in its entirety.
    – Check the airline’s website and airport website for the latest updates.
  3. Consider purchasing travel insurance to cover any unexpected additional costs associated with the delay or cancellation.  Check your credit cards as this could possibly be included as benefit afforded to you as part of the terms of use.
  4. Websites like flightaware.com can provide you with useful information and statistics to help you plan the trip and determine which regions and airports are most likely to be impacted by winter weather.
  5. If you are flying during the winter, consider putting a change or two of clothing in your carry-on bag, especially if you will not be able to re-schedule your flight for a few days and are unable to book a hotel.  While sleeping in the airport over night might now be something that you wish to do, you need to plan for the worse case scenario.
  6. When weather related delays and cancellations occur, they will probably be a run on food in the airport.  Pack snacks that will help keep you full.

Although you cannot determine when the worse of the weather will strike and how it will impact your travel plans, you can take the necessary precautions to try to avoid it or at least mitigate the hardships associated with it.  Stay safe and be aware!

 

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