Airline operations, on a good day, are a difficult business. Weather adds an extra complication. Holidays add extra complications. Combining holidays and weather are a recipe for delays, cancellations and frustration.
Labor Day weekend could prove to be ugly. With Hurricane Hermine threatening Florida and both Lester & Madeline going after Hawaii, both ends of the country are going to offer difficult trips.
What To Do
If it looks like a storm may wreak havoc on your vacation, there are a few steps that you can take ahead of time.
- Check with your airline. It may allow you to cancel tickets outright or reschedule without a fee. In some cases, they may not even charge you the extra amount if your new ticket costs more than your original one.
- You can do most of your research online. Every airline has a link discussing your options. That link is usually on the front page when storms are affecting a particular geography.
- If you have to call, be prepared to wait. Some companies will let you ask for an automated callback. You won’t lose your place in line. Others have a line to speak to somebody in Spanish. Try it. Those operators speak English, as well. And finally, you don’t need to call the US reservations centers. All of the network carriers have phone numbers around the world. Try an international option.
- Social media may also be able to get you answers. Hop onto Twitter and you’ll likely get a fast response.
- And last, but certainly not least, remember that the phone representatives are likely having a worse day than you are. Be gentle.
Good luck and enjoy your holiday weekend. I’ll see you next week.
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