Stranded for the holidays? Here’s what to do

Stranded for the holidays? Here’s what to do


Kerry Breen, Peter Greenberg

CBS News

Advice for holiday travellers in the event of a storm

Advice for holiday travellers in severe weather that disrupts roads and airports


As flight delays and cancellations increase, so does the need to cancel flights. The United States is ravaged by a storm Holiday travelers can feel uncertain and stuck during peak season.

Deicing operations or other weather-related issues can cause delays of up to two and a quarter hours at some airports. Some airports, such as the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, had no choice but to cancel more than half of their flights that left on Dec. 22, which was the busiest day of the holiday season according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The chaos continued on Dec. 23, with more than 7,300 flights delayed, and more than 5,100 cancellations anticipated.

Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, called this “the worst day of all the year for cancellations,” noting the fact that cancellations are expected to be 30 times more than the average day.

Here’s what you need to do if you are stranded on the way to holiday celebrations.

How do I know if my flight is canceled?

It can be very worrying to see the constant stream of cancellations if you are heading to the airport. To determine if your flight will be cancelled, you need to look across the system. Even if it is clear at your departure point and perfect weather at your arrival airport, it might not be enough.

Instead, learn about the weather at the airport where you will be flying. If the plane cannot leave that airport to reach yours, it won’t fly on time.

Advice for holiday travellers in severe weather that disrupts roads and airports


You can solve this problem by downloading a good weather app as well as an airline operations app. Ask your airline for the tail number for the aircraft assigned to you flight. You can track the tail number via the airline operations app and use the weather app for information about what’s happening in that area. You might be able to rebook your flight if something goes wrong.

You can also sign up to receive text alerts from your airline, which will notify you of delays and cancellations.

Most airlines will offer compensation or services such as meals or a hotel night for cancellations or delays that are the airline’s fault.But, this doesn’t mean that it is. When the airlines aren’t at fault, such as when the weather is bad.

Can I change my flight?

Full storm waivers are offered by airlines, which allow travelers to rebook flights at a later time or receive a full refund without any financial penalties. However, it is unlikely that air travel will return to normal by Christmas morning. Keyes estimates that it will take approximately a week for the aftermath of cancellations and delays to be resolved.

It might be better to accept the refund. Storm waivers are only available for a very limited time. If you don’t mind putting off your holiday celebrations, changing your flight may not be worth it. Even if you don’t receive a storm waiver from the airline, they are still available. Refund of your flight is required If it is canceled or significantly delayed.

Keyes suggests that you rebook a morning flight if you decide to do so. These flights are more likely to arrive on-time and the plane that will take you to your destination will already have arrived at the airport. Nonstop flights are better than those with layovers. However, the key is to be proactive.

Keyes stated that air travel is done on a first-come, second-served basis. “If you spot a seat, grab it. It may be gone if you wait for a few days or hours.

What if I’m already at an airport?

If your flight has been canceled and you are already at the airport, contact customer service. Although you can call the desk to speak with an agent, Keyes advised that calling an international office for your airline is the fastest way to reach someone.

Keyes stated that American, Delta, United have offices all over the globe. “You can call any of these international offices to get through to an agent who will help you get rebooked. It’s the same process as a U.S.-based agents, but with a fraction the wait time. hotline.”

If you need to travel by another airline, you can ask about booking on that one. Keyes said that it is rare for airlines to do this, but it never hurts asking.

The Christmas holiday weekend will be marked by a winter storm and frigid temperatures


What happens if my layover gets affected?

You might end up stuck at an airport far away from your final destination if you travel from one airport to the next with an additional stop. Keyes’ previous tips include calling the international number to inquire about being rebooked with a different airline.

Also, check your credit card. Many credit cards have travel protections. These will cover you for things like hotel rooms and the cost of buying fresh clothes and toiletries if your bag is lost or stolen. These features can help you live in relative comfort if you are stranded.

What if I drive?

Many people are being advised not to drive to their destination due to the blizzard-like conditions in the United States. Some drivers are also being left behind in transit.

If you absolutely have to be on the road AAA recommends that you have A winter emergency kit should include warm clothes, water, and a flashlight. Keep at least half of your gasoline tank in your car at all time and ensure that your tires are properly inflated.

Other AAA tips for winter driving include: Drive slowly if you are on the roads. If visibility is poor, pull over at a safe spot and use your hazard lights. To signal your distress, you can tie a brightly colored cloth to your vehicle’s antenna or hang a rolled-up window. To conserve fuel, ensure that your exhaust pipe does not become clogged with snow, water, ice, or mud, and make sure you have all the necessary supplies.

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