6 tips for getting where you need to go in any weather
Understanding how best to navigate the travel landscape when faced with extreme weather conditions can mean the difference between arriving in time to execute on your amazing meeting and being a no-show at your own event. Whether experiencing unexpected weather, a flight cancellation or delay, here are tips from Andrew Collins, CEO and president of Sentient Jet, to smooth out the travel bumps.
1. Departure Time Matters
During high traffic periods and days when weather is expected to be poor, give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport, and look to take the first flight out if you can, as that aircraft has a better chance of already being at the airport, and therefore taking off on time. Delays tend to increase as the day progresses, particularly when inclement weather in one area causes a ripple effect across multiple regions and airports.
2. Become a Priority
Inclement weather can increase the amount of time it takes to travel to the airport, and also leads to crowds upon arrival. Therefore, the ability to skip the security line could make the difference between catching your flight or getting stuck at the airport. Make sure to bundle priority security-line access into your ticket and, if you are a frequent traveler, sign up for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry. When flying internationally, make use of a customs concierge who can assist you with every stage of navigating unfamiliar airports, from providing pick-up service to arranging lounge access.
3. Invest in a Travel ‘Tool Kit’
Does your credit card offer specialized perks or access? Are you a loyalty member of an airline, hotel chain or car rental service? Most importantly, are you in the know about what your enrollment in these programs can really provide? All too often, people miss out on the benefits of their memberships, such as a room at a sold-out hotel or a seat on a sought-after flight. Take the time to learn about what these services can do for you.
4. Know Your Equipment
Do you feel more comfortable flying on a larger aircraft than on a smaller, regional one? Tools such as routehappy.com can take these preferences into consideration, allowing you to identify the right flight for you based on time, distance, conditions and plane type. A car upgrade to a larger automobile or an SUV can also help you manage your ground transportation needs. When dealing with inclement weather, prioritizing your comfort by selecting more reliable modes of transportation is a must.
5. Consider Flying Privately or Chartering an Aircraft
If there is an extreme weather situation, look into booking a private charter. To get travelers out of harm’s way, private jets can sometimes fly with fewer hours’ notice and even operate more flights than a commercial operator. Many programs even offer specific aircraft availability guarantees, ensuring you a seat whenever possible, and can fly into as many as 5,000 smaller airports versus the 500 main hubs in the United States.
6. Always Ask
If your flight gets canceled due to weather, ask the airline if it can find a flight for you with another carrier as opposed to waiting for it to reschedule. Though airlines do not always announce this option in order to keep revenue in house, this is often something that can be done, and will help you get to your destination faster.