Airport weather delays can wreak havoc on your business travel plans. Navigate delays and cancellations by following these 6 tips.
Summertime thunderstorms can lead to flight cancellations by the dozens. Wintertime snow and ice can do the same. Airport weather delays are a fact of life, especially for the business traveler, but there are ways to minimize the impact delays and cancellations can make on your travel plans.
What should you do during weather events at the airport? Here’s a look at the dos and don’ts of surviving severe weather around your business trip.
What You Should Do During Airport Weather Delays
1. DO Check the Airline’s App
Your airline is always the best source of information during severe weather. Make sure you download the airline’s mobile app so that you can check for alerts and waiver opportunities (more on this below) if and when your flight is threatened.
The last thing airlines want are long lines at airport service desks. Check the airline’s app (or website and social media pages) for the latest and greatest information, so that you can act quickly to make other arrangements as bad weather disrupts your trip.
2. DO Take Advantage of Rebooking Options
Another reason to check your airline’s mobile app: This is where they will let passengers know about waiver opportunities. Waivers are when airlines allow passengers to rebook on different flights without paying a change fee.
By taking a waiver, you can find a flight that meets your needs without any of the weather drama. Taking advantage of a waiver is like waving a magic wand that makes your weather issues disappear.
3. DO Skip the Trip if You Can
If your flight is canceled, don’t settle for a rebooking that doesn’t meet your needs. Airlines are required to refund your money after a cancellation, so take the refund if your trip is in any way flexible or discretionary. After all, you can always visit the home office for a status meeting or check-in at a later date when there is no severe weather.
Of course, many business trips are “can’t miss,” which means you’ll have to accept even the most inconvenient alternate arrangements. But carefully consider how important a trip is before you start rebooking around bad weather.
What Not To Do During Airport Weather Delays
4. DO NOT Go to the Airport Without a Status Check
As noted above, always check the airline’s mobile app for the latest and greatest information on your flight. If your flight is going to be delayed significantly or canceled altogether, there’s no reason to rush to the airport and wait around.
Checking your status from your own home or office allows you to wait, rebook and make other arrangements in a comfortable area. During delays and cancellations at the airport, lines are long, passengers are frustrated and temperatures run hot. With just a mobile app and a telephone, you can keep tabs on the situation and make alternate travel plans as needed.
5. DO NOT Expect Hotel and Food Reimbursement
During weather delays and cancellations, airlines are not required to provide hotel and food reimbursement to stranded passengers. That said, almost all companies that ask employees to travel for work are also going to pay for lodging and food during delays.
Get in touch with your company’s travel manager or travel management company for support and assistance if you need accommodations during weather-related delays and after cancellations.
6. DO NOT Get Stuck Without Lodging
At the first hint of an overnight delay or cancellation, make hotel arrangements as quickly as possible. During weather events, hundreds of passengers are going to be looking for a place to stay, and they are going to start with hotels located nearest the airport. These hotels fill up quickly, of course.
If you wait to make hotel arrangements, you may find yourself staying at a highly inconvenient location that’s nowhere near the airport. Or, worse, you may find yourself sleeping on the airport floor. Act quickly so that you get the lodging you need.
Get the Trip Disruption Assistance You Need
Thousands of flights are canceled and delayed each year. If you travel for business regularly enough, you’re going to be on one of those flights. What type of support do you have available in delay and cancellation situations?
At JTB Business Travel, trip disruption assistance is a big part of our comprehensive corporate travel services. We monitor the weather and flight statuses so that you can act quickly to make alternate arrangements.
Learn more about our trip disruption assistance services.