Welcome back to Philip James Travel!
Thanks for all the feedback on last week’s newsletter! Several of you responded with questions and comments about traveling amidst the coronavirus craze. I suggested that taking a personal responsibility approach is best when dealing with such epidemic-hysteria, and that seems to have struck a chord with many of you. Common sense precautions like WASHING YOUR HANDS and avoiding commonly infected surfaces during cold, flu (and coronavirus!) season frequently can be both the simplest and most logical bits of advice to staying well. But then again, we’re not always in control…. and sometimes we’re simply at the mercy of mother nature, and our dear friends, the airlines!
What Should I do if my Flight is Canceled due to Weather? Whether your flight is canceled due to a severe thunderstorm or snow and ice, here's what you should do.
Firstly, get busy. Unless you have a trusted travel advisor (who should be your first call), you must be your own advocate: Go online, get on the phone, and step in line to get yourself rebooked. You can also try calling the airline’s international reservations desk—or, if you have access, speaking to the agents at an airport lounge. A great website for help in times of flight trouble is FlightStats.com, it even has a seat availability function.
You should consider alternate airports to get home, or if you’re relatively close, try a rental car and drive the rest of the way. Travel insurance should cover the cost of the rental. Hint, hint, whenever traveling protect yourself with good travel insurance, and I can help you with that! If all fails, get comfortable. Buy a day pass to an airport lounge for about $50, or if the wait requires an overnight, call your travel advisor to help you find a last-minute booking of a stylish hotel room.
What should you do if you think you'll miss your flight? Travelers who are concerned they’re not going to make their flight should immediately alert the airline. Giving the airline notice can improve your chances of being rebooked on the next available flight, space permitting.
And just because you’re late doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. Checking in online in advance, and traveling light (carry-on only) can improve your chances of catching a flight even when you’re under the wire. After all, gates for certain flights may stay open 10 to 15 minutes before departure. In other words, be prepared to sprint. Give me a call sometime, so we can chat more about this and many other travel topics.