It’s great to be able to say you’re flight was easy, but we all know with flying, things don’t always go according to plan, especially over winter months when the weather can be temperamental. As a traveler it is important to know both how to respond when plans go awry and also how to mitigate the chances of getting stuck in the first place.
FLY EARLIER – Flying earlier in the day may mean getting up at the crack of dawn but can help avoid the build up of delays over the course of the day. Equally, crews running just an hour late may ultimately not be able to operate their last scheduled flight of the day because of regulations regarding the number hours they can work, which can lead to further delays.
CHOOSE YOUR AIRPOT CAREFULLY – If an airport has more runways, it is more likely to have smooth on-time operations. In the New York City area, for example, JFK is more likely to be close to on-time than LaGuardia or Newark. In terms of stop-overs, choose carefully – flying through Chicago in the winter is more likely to see a snow storm impact your flight than connecting in Dallas or Houston.
CONSIDER CLUB MEMBERSHIPS—While this can be expensive, it can often give the priority green light that allows agents at the airport to go the extra mile between getting on the go and being stuck in the terminal. A number of credit cards include access to lounges in some form or another and, failing that, most US airlines will sell a one-time access option for around $50.
STAY LEVEL HEADED — It’s not easy to do when things start to turn for the worst traveling, but when dealing with agents, yelling doesn’t help anyone. They decide whether to go the extra mile for you or not. Remaining calm and cool is much more likely to result in getting back on the go more quickly, and it’s the right thing to do.
CONSIDER BOOKING THROUGH A THIRD PARTY – If you book a flight directly through an airline then you have to deal with that airline for any issues which arise. If you book through a travel site like Expedia, those companies should act on your behalf to help solve issues. It still goes without saying that traditional travel agents, the ones you pay to help you rather than just a website, are even better at fixing problems, so it might be worth the small investment if you’re headed on a big trip.