Winter weather can be very unpredictable, and this winter has proven that thus far. Although spring is only weeks away, there are parts of the country that have not seen temperatures above 32 degrees in weeks. This of course has severely impacted air travel, leaving business travelers stranded for days on end.
According to FlightStats.com, daily on-time ratings for the nation’s commercial air-traffic system dropped as low as 47.7 percent during the first seven days of 2014. Although the weather cannot be altered, here are a few Travel Tips to help stave off those treacherous waits at the airport.
Have a Plan B. When things go wrong, don’t expect airline call centers or ticket-counter agents to have the time or resources to help you plan alternatives. Do it yourself and prepare a Plan B itinerary before beginning your trip. There are other routes you can take to get to where you need to go.
Always Budget extra time. Winter weather can play havoc with schedules. Assume there will be delays for anything you use on the road. From flights, airport shuttles, trains and even hotel check-ins and check-outs. Depending on where you are flying into or from will dictate how detailed your extra time should consist of.
Book hotels along the way. Spending the night on the floor of an airport terminal is not a great way to spend your night. Especially during winter months, have contingency hotel reservations at or near all airports you’ll use on a trip. You can always cancel them if you do not need them.
Travel lighter. Checked luggage can easily pose a problem when flights get cancelled, rerouted, etc. Pack lighter, and try to only take carry-on luggage. Checkpoint-friendly Laptop Bags are essential when traveling with your laptop and or Tablet. These TSA friendly laptop bags will help you fly through security checkpoints, especially when in a hurry. If it is essential that you take extra gear, ship it ahead via UPS, FedEx.
Smartphone Apps are Critical. If you do not already have a Smartphone, you may want to consider one. There are weather Apps, Apps for Airlines, hotel chains, car rentals and more. All of these helpful apps will guide you through your travels and help get you to where you need to go.