Traveling Thursday – Avoiding Winter Travel Woes

Ah winter, you’ve really shown yourself this week. Flying during the winter can be a huge hassle with cancellations and delays. While it is impossible to fully protect yourself from winter weather woes, there are some things that you can do to minimize your headaches.

– Don’t take the last possible flight.
Need to be in town for a business meeting at 8 a.m. on Monday? Try leaving early in the day on Sunday to allow yourself more options and flexibility.

– Constantly monitor the weather and plan accordingly.
When we were in New York last month, we saw a winter storm coming into the area. The forecast changed dramatically between late Thursday night and early Friday morning. We had to be home by Monday morning so that meant leaving early. If we weren’t paying attention, we might have been stranded.

– Ask if the airlines are offering winter waivers.
When foul weather is imminent, airlines will sometimes waive the standard change fees. Ask about that when communicating with the airline.

– Stalk the airline.
Call, try the website, e-mail, use social media…
Thousands of people are trying to get through, you have to get creative. Some airlines have customer service staff responding to tweets and Facebook messages. Try it all.

– How close can you get?
Flying to a city along the East Coast? You might be able to fly into an airport that is reasonably close and take Amtrak to your final destination. Greyhound or rental cars might be other options though please don’t get a rental if you are not used to driving in the snow.

– Be nice!
Winter weather delays are hard on everyone. Be nice to the airline employees. In most cases, they are doing the best they can. The weather is not their fault. Being rude will not help the situation. The same is true with interactions with other passengers.

Do you have any other winter weather air travel tips?

Looking for tips on driving in the winter? Check this out.

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