SPECIAL REPORT: What to do (& NOT do) When Stranded at the Airport

As we publish this report, the East Coast is experiencing a blizzard of record-breaking proportions. Should you be unfortunate

PD Photo

enough to be stuck here half way through a journey with your family, there are a few tips you should know and some added advice.

  1. Call your airline. Don’t make the mistake of thinking a trip to the airport will change flights. If they’re canceled, they’re canceled. Some hotels are offering extended check-out until 2PM. At the time of this post, some airline hotlines are experiencing wait times of over an hour, so if you’re in a hotel, you might not want to use the room’s telephone.
  2. Remain civil towards the airlines and airline attendants. Being nasty will not only get you nowhere, it might get you to the back of the line. Fast. I have stood behind folks who were demanding this or that, only to get nowhere. Then I waltz up with my best “I’m with ya, Mr. Desk Agent” and Boom! I got on the next flight. So be nice. Breathe. Go get yourself a book, and toys for the kids and relax.
  3. If you are given the chance to break your family up on to two flights, my advice is to do it (HOWEVER- this is of course if your party isn’t One Adult and several small children.) If you give up this opportunity, there’s a chance you won’t get that option again. Yes, you’ll be all together… waiting at the airport.
  4. If they can put your family on a flight, but can’t seat you together, take it, and deal with seats later. Most passengers will offer to let you sit with your kid if you ask nicely.
  5. Rule 240” Does NOT apply during this storm. For those in the know, Rule 240 indicates that an airline that cancels a flight for any reason of their own design owes some compensation to its passengers, whether that be in the form of a voucher, upgrade on a later flight or (in rare instances) cash. Again, Rule 240 WILL NOT WORK when the FAA has canceled all flights due to inclement weather.

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