Dealing with travel delays

snowIn case you missed it, a crazy cold front has swept the nation. Temperatures are colder than they’ve been in years. In Chicago, where my sister lives, it is currently -13 and the high is -10. That is insane, and it’s not even the coldest place in the country. (Pictured: The view from my sister’s window. Brrrr!)

One of the things super cold or stormy weather can bring is travel delays. A bunch of flights have been delayed or outright cancelled today. Here are a few things I recommend during times like this.

Check before you go! Definitely, definitely check your flight status before you go to the airport. If your flight has been cancelled, you don’t want to find out at the airport. You can use Flight Aware to track your incoming flight, which can be immensely helpful.

Call airline customer service. If you’re at the airport and your flight is delayed or cancelled, immediately call customer service while you walk over to the agent line. While both will probably be slow, coming at the problem from two sides gives you a chance of a faster solution. I have often called customer service as soon as my plane lands if my connection is delayed.

Be prepared to wait. Everything may look great when you arrive, but things can change in an instant! Have work, books, knitting, or other activities to pass the time. It’s also not a bad idea to bring a pillow–you might end up sitting on the floor.

Have patience. While a flight getting delayed or cancelled can be incredibly frustrating, when weather strikes it is no one’s fault. The airline employees are in the same boat as you, as are all the other passengers. Yelling, being rude, or throwing a fit won’t magically make your flight land sooner, so take a deep breath and calm down.

Readers, any of you have travel delays today? What are your tips for flying during weather disruptions?

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  1. Flight from BDL to DCA cancelled and rescheduled with a connection at CLT! Always call back – if you get a solution, and it’s not great, go with it and try again later. You never know when a seat might free up because someone somewhere else might have missed a connection of had an earlier segment cancelled. Also – always always GOLDEN RULE. I agree with your comments above – it’s weather, we’re all in the same boat – stay calm and be nice.

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