Hurricanes and Airline Travel

As expected, hurricanes disrupt air travel (Duh! as my son would say). With Irene approaching this weekend, I wanted to send this out all my readers who may be traveling over the next few days. Just a few tips to consider:

1. If you can change your travel plans, do it right now. The more you delay, the higher the number of people who have taken the initiative, have already done so. This reduces the number of available seats in the alternate flights you may be planning to take after the storm passes, making rescheduling more problematic. Most airlines have already declared ‘no charge’ changes to travel plans allowed for travel to and from the affected areas. Use it.

2. If you have to travel, check the flight status before you leave home. Flights may be delayed or cancelled as conditions on the ground change.

3. As a corollary to #2, even if you are no where near the storm, you flight may be effected. Check status. Even if your trip is from Seattle (SEA) to San Francisco (SFO) and the hurricane is on the East Cost. The plane that is supposed to fly the route may be coming from Washington, DC (IAD) which may have tremendous delays.

4. Don’t plan to drive to avoid travel. I have seen people do that. This is ‘not too smart’. While your travel route may be thru unaffected areas, the evacuees from evacuated area may be jamming the roads.

5. Be prepared. If you have to travel and your flight is on time, last minute delays still may happen due to unavoidable challenges. Keep some extra packed, non-perishable food in you carry on bags and an extra bottle of water (yes, TSA will not allow it thru. Buy it in the terminal). Don’t rely on the airline to take care of you. They may not have enough food if you are stuck on the tarmac for some time. They are certainly not responsible for you, if you are stuck in the waiting area.

Any tips of your own? Do share by leaving a comment below.

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