In the United States, hurricane season generally runs between August and November. As many Americans make travel plans during these months, many travel itineraries may become interrupted due to inclement weather. If you are making plans to fly during this period, there are several steps and helpful tips you should remember in case hurricanes affect your vacation plans.
First, passengers should read and understand their respective airline’s policies concerning weather-affected travel. Most consider it a “force majeure” and do not provide hotel or transportation assistance for passengers. They will, however, work to rebook the flight, refund the ticket, or change the ticket completely. By knowing your rights as a passenger, you will ensure you’re treated fairly by the airline.
Also, before you leave for the airport, be sure to check your flight information with the airline, as well as the weather conditions at both the departure and arrival airports. This information will help you determine if your flight has been cancelled or delayed or is on time. If you are already at the airport when your flight becomes affected by the weather, it is important to speak with the ticketing department as soon as possible. If the line is too long, call the airline directly. This will save you time in getting assistance rebooking the flight. Again, while airlines are not obligated to provide compensation for food, lodging, or transportation, many will provide extra assistance for those affected travelers who are on layovers.
It is also beneficial to make contingency plans in case of travel emergencies. For example, contact rental car agencies, bus terminals, and train stations to learn of alternate modes and costs of transportation. If this is not an option, travelers should pack additional items to help make their delays more enjoyable. Board games, crossword puzzles, travel pillows, extra clothes, and toiletries are all essential when dealing with weather-affected travel.
Whether your travel becomes hindered, delayed, cancelled, or just interrupted by severe weather issues , it is important to be prepared and be informed. These tips will help keep you traveling smoothly to your ultimate destination.
Originally published on Where I’ve Been