Tips For Airline Travel In Bad Weather

by | February 10, 2015

Whether it’s a blizzard or a hurricane, bad weather is going to happen and there are certain times during the year when it is pretty much inevitable. Since you can’t always plan your trips around the weather, it’s best to be smart about how you travel and to be prepared in case you do encounter bad weather while traveling.

Choose The Best Flight From The Start

One of the best ways to prepare for bad weather is to make smart decisions when booking your flights. Choosing an early morning, nonstop flight is your best bet in general. If you fly first thing in the morning and you do have to make alternative arrangements due to bad weather, you will have more time to find a new flight and it is less likely that the flight will already be full. Further, if the flight is nonstop, you only have to worry about the weather in two cities rather than three or more. Not to mention, it’s far better to be stuck either at home or in your destination city than a random connecting city.

Be Smart About Connecting Flights

If choosing a flight with a connection is unavoidable, there are some ways to help ensure the best outcome in the event of bad weather. First of all, if you have a choice of connecting cities, be sure to choose wisely. Try to choose the city that is the least likely to experience bad weather. For example, choose a connecting city that is more South and less likely to be caught in a blizzard if you are traveling during the winter. You can always check the typical weather conditions for the connecting cities for the time of year that you are traveling if you are unfamiliar with their climates.

If you cannot differentiate the connecting cities by weather, then choose the one that you wouldn’t mind being stuck in if you do experience weather delays.

Finally, when booking a connecting flight, be sure to choose a layover that allows at least a small buffer in case your first flight is delayed. Don’t pick a layover that only allows you enough time to just barely make it to your connecting flight.

Do Your Research

Once you have bought your tickets, the next best thing you can do is to do some research. Specifically, you should research the airline’s bad weather/event policies and store the airline’s telephone number in your cell phone. If you look this information up in advance, you won’t have to worry about scrambling to find it when you actually need it. Some airports don’t have WiFi and the cell phone reception may not always be the best, so it’s better to have important information on hand and to not have to rely on being able to find it while at the airport.

When it comes time to actually go on your trip, it is important to stay informed about airport conditions and the statuses of your flights. In the days leading up to your flight, be sure to monitor the weather forecasts. On the day of your flight, you can stay on top of weather updates using one of several available apps that help you track flight information. You can check out Yahoo! Travel’s list of the top 5 best apps to track flights to help you find the best app for your needs.

Tips For While You’re Traveling

When you’re at the airport or on your flight, you’ll also want to be as comfortable as possible. Wear comfortable clothing and make sure you have a jacket or sweater on hand if it gets cold. Also, try to make sure you choose an airline with the most comfortable seating options. If you do get delayed due to bad weather, you’re bound to have a long and stressful day, so being as comfortable as possible throughout the entire trip is very important.

It’s also a good idea to have a backup power supply on hand while traveling. Your phone and other mobile devices are the tools that will keep you connected and entertained in the long hours that you may be stuck at the airport. Avoid being caught without the use of these devices by bringing along a portable power supply. You definitely don’t want to have to fight the other stranded travelers for one of the limited power outlets. Not to mention, you don’t want to have to be tethered to the wall while your battery charges.

Another good tip for minimizing your stress while traveling in bad weather is to not plan anything too important for immediately after you expect to land. Dealing with other frustrated travelers and being stranded at the airport during flight delays is stressful enough without the additional worry about whether you’ll make an important meeting or event on time. So do yourself a favor and choose wisely when it comes to the parts of your trip that you actually have control over, since weather definitely isn’t one those things!