Winter storms may create travel problems because of unexpected snow storms, flight delays, and mechanical problems. However, one can minimize these travel concerns during the winter by following general guidelines. Watch the weather reports for your departure date and arrival date since you may be able to change for flight times with prior notification. Call your airline carrier three or four days before a major snow storm for any information about cancellations/delays. Also, check with your airline carrier 3-4 hours before departure to check on your flight status since you may miss telephone/e-mail notifications.
Scheduling your flight time is important. Try to schedule your air flight without a non-stop layover to prevent the possibility of having no problems with the first flight but a travel delay with the second flight. Some airports have different congestion levels. For instance, a major city airport is likely to experience more flight delays while a smaller, neighboring airport is less likely to experience traffic problems.
Booking your flight departure during the early morning hours may decrease your chances of a flight delay since there is less air traffic from nearby airports and the flights can come and go smoothly. Likewise, ask for a on-time performance of each flight your are considering. This information is available upon request as required by the Department of Aviation for major U.S airlines when a flight reservation is made for you by your carrier. This performance information is also available through an airlines reservation system to consumers booking their flights via a travel agent.
Preparing for a flight delay is a good idea. Take a favorite book, a crossword puzzle, or work-related materials to keep yourself occupied if your flight is delayed for a few hours. Also, take a few snacks such as fruit, granola bars, or low-calorie, low-fat chips for eating.
Speaking with the correct individuals about your flight concerns is important. For example, ask your air carrier about possible refunds for flight delays and cancellations since airline policies may differ and if there is overnight delay, see if your carrier can help you obtain a free or low-cost motel room.