With the East Coast on the rebound from winter storm Jonas, many travelers are facing flight delays and cancellations. Forbes.com compiled a list of tips to help you navigate weather related interruptions.
1. Contact the Airline Right Away
If bad weather is headed in the direction of your airport, call customer service for assistance with re-booking. Even if you’re at the airport and the gate agent hasn’t started re-accommodating passengers on new flights, reservations agents should still be able to change your itinerary. That said, if you’re at the gate, get in line while you’re on the phone so you can speak to the gate agent as well.
2. Look for Alternatives Yourself
Bad weather wreaks havoc on an airline’s route schedule as well as the reservations agents, so save yourself some time (and a headache) by researching other flight options yourself. A good starting place is the airline’s app or Google Flights. Consider more complicated routes if you need to — preferably those that aren’t affected by bad weather. For example, instead of New York-JFK to LAX, you could fly JFK to Detroit or even JFK to Toronto to LAX. Also, don’t rule out another class of service; if you’re booked in business, look for coach availability in vice versa. If the airline is able to re-book you and there aren’t options, you may be accommodated in whatever seat’s available.
3. Go to the Lounge
If all else fails, an agent at the airline lounge may be able to help. They’re typically more experienced than gate or reservations agents and are often given more authority by the airline to re-accommodate passengers. If you’re not a lounge member, note that select travel credit cards — such as the Citi Prestige and the Platinum Card from American Express — include lounge access among their benefits.
4. Consider Leaving from Another Airport.
Switching up your departure city can be a good option when there’s a nearby airport that hasn’t been hit with weather-related delays and cancellations. For example, if you’re at Newark but are having no luck re-booking, consider leaving from Philadelphia (PHL) instead. You’ll need to drive there, but at least, you’ll be able to get on a flight.
Read More: Forbes.com