What To Do In Weather Delays and Flight Cancellations

IMG_7121Here are my go-to tips, websites and apps for all you need to know about what to do in weather delays and flight cancellations:

1. Research: I don’t leave home without knowing the weather where I am and where I’m going—including at layover airports. I use Weather.com and this handy traveler’s weather page I made that even includes the turbulence forecast.

If there’s a huge storm forcing mass cancellations I check with the airline to see if they’ve adjusted their change policies due to the weather so I can rebook without a penalty and fly when there won’t be any hassles.

Airline travel policies
Here’s a list of airline policies:  Air Canada | Alaska | American AirlinesBritish Airways | Delta | Frontier | Hawaiian | JetBlue | Southwest | Spirit | Sun Country | United Virgin America | WestJet Every Airline Website and Phone Number

Flt DelaysIf there’s disruptive weather in any of the destinations relevant to me, I’ll then check the FAA’s (Federal Aviation Administration) Flight Delay Information – Air Traffic Control System Command Center. It lists general airport conditions at the US’s top 40 major airports.

Remind2. Sign up for flight notifications: Since the Air Traffic Control System Command Center is not flight-specific, I always sign up for flight status notifications, offered for free by each airline. They will send you text or email messages with status updates so you can know you’re staying up-to-date.

Phone-alarm13. Load up your phone: Be sure to load your phone with your airline(s)’s toll free phone number(s) and apps just in case there is a cancelation. Tip: If your flight is canceled then get in line as soon as possible and at the same time, also get on the phone and call the airline directly. Usually the airline representative at the call center can rebook you on a flight faster than the line moves and you have the chance to speak to customer service or the gate agent.

Important: Time is of the essence since there aren’t a lot of flights these days with empty seats and you want to get one before they are all gone. You can also try rebooking by using your phone or laptop but most airlines aren’t that advanced yet.

Good to know: Here’s a website that I created which has every airline phone number in the world. It’s called AirlineNumbers.com.

Twitter4. Use Twitter: I also like to follow my airline and airports on Twitter. On my Twitter handle (@JohnnyJet) I have all kinds of lists including Airlines on Twitter, U.S. Airports on Twitter and International Airports on Twitter. Most airports are not that active, so don’t get your hopes up, but there are a bunch of airlines that are amazing and some can even help you rebook by reaching out to them via a tweet. My favorite is American Airlines (@AmericanAir). They usually respond within 10 minutes.

Here’s another useful Travel Twitter Resource Page.

TripIt5. Useful apps/websites: Like every frequent traveler, one of my favorite apps is TripIt.com. The site has a free version but their pro version is worth the $49/year if you travel a lot, as they notify you of delays, cancellations, gate changes and other flight details. In case there are mass cancellations, I don’t wait for an airline to reserve me a hotel room. I jump on it as soon as I know I’m spending the night. My favorite app for last minute hotel rooms is HotelTonight (Use code JOHNNYJET – $30 off for a first-time booker). But I also use Priceline.com with the help of BiddingForTravel.com. In case I need to drive somewhere, I carry numbers of car rental agencies and use Uber. Good to bookmark: Hotelnumbers.com & CarRentalNumbers.com.

Cranky6. Get help: In case you’re in a real bind and didn’t book through a travel agent, you can call CrankyConcierge.com. For a fee they will help you make other flight arrangements, find a hotel or transportation and assist you in resolving disputes. I hope these tips are useful this week and long after, and if you want more, be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and sign up to my free weekly newsletter at JohnnyJet.com.

Happy and safe travels!

Johnny Jet

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Rate this post

About the Author

Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

5 Comments on "What To Do In Weather Delays and Flight Cancellations"

  1. I think this is the most useful article I have ever read! Wow. It was so chock- full of ideas that I’m going to need to print it out. And even though I’ve traveled for years, I didn’t know any of thus information. Thank you!

  2. I work away from home and fly alot, With google now I no longer use Any of my travel apps.
    You don’t have set anything up it knows your flights. Delays pop up instantly with a link to find alternate flights. It tells you when to leave for the airport everything. Its just plain awesome

  3. 3 years ago I was stuck in Frankfurt during a huge snowstorm. If something like this happens you will usually spend hours arguing with the staff and trying to get a hotel room and transport ( we ended up in a small city 50 km from Frankfurt), as all hotels in the city were full beacause of this!

    You end up begging for a toothbrush?

  4. Great tips, Johnny; thanks.

    Being stranded is one of the more frustrating situations a traveler can face. Thankfully, it’s occurred to me only one time. But that one time was bad enough.

    First, the airlines can do a better job of informing the passengers. It seems every hour or so they have some tantalizing information (a new flight is available, e.g.), only to tell you that, sorry!, all flights are still delayed.

    Then, once you’re stuck in the airport, can they make the accommodations even somewhat comfortable? I’m sure I’m asking too much, but can I ask?

    Perhaps you’ve touched on these issues, Johnny. If not, go get ’em!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.