Tips for if my flight gets screwed up at thanksgiving…!

Okay, so I am not convinced my flights will go well at thanksgiving because, well, it’s thanksgiving. I have tried to reduce possible snafus by flying direct (a rare treat from Des Moines although it does require a 6 am flight to Newark on thanksgiving day for close to $500′ insane I know) and avoiding the wed and sun surrounding thanksgiving. Still I am holding onto some good tips from the November Conde Nast traveler on dealing with winter flight issues :
– best time to fly on …Presidents’ Day weekend, which is also valentines day. Book in early december.
– other cheap tome to fly to warm weather places? Dec 3 to 16 (you are close dad!) and mid jan.
– try alternate airports. Tampa or Fort Lauderdale rather than Miami or Orlando
– nope problems in the bud. Fly early am (I knew that one) and avoid landing between 7 and 10 in say, ohare(we learned that the hard way on our way home from Boston last month when we almost got stuck overnight in Chicago,.
– if you have to do a connecting flight (yes, alas. We do) stay away from ohare (knew that too but hard to avoid). Opt instead for Dallas or Houston (really?)
– if you can’t get a seat when you book your tix online, call the airline to get from a phone agent. Apparently it IS true that you are more likely to get bumped if you show up,at the gate without a seat.
– checking in early also decreases your chance of getting bumped.
– if bad weather on the horizon, find out if your flt is cancelled by checking airline website or twitter feed for updates. Soone r u know the better chances of getting rebooked. (I learned that last fall en route to New Orleans from Kansas City)
– Have a plan b. I was just telling this to my daughter. Know what flights are leaving after your scheduled connecting flight, in case you miss it. Although you may not find a seat. Before your flight check, open “:delays” and then “global trends” which will show which airports and airlines are having the most cancelations and delays and which aren’t. Ask to be rerouted to a city that isn’t having problems. You can also sign up for A flight status alert with
– cancelled flight? Fly thru Vegas if if not necessarily on your way…it has lots of flights and cheap hotels (I am flying southwest thru Vegas to LA next month!) so for example on stead of waiting for a Boston Seatte
flight, try thru Vegas. (I am flying next month to Seattle to midway to Des Moines…was acttually shorter flight time then thru Vegas.)
– know whet alternative flight you want when you can to rebook (been there, done that) use again. Sign up for an account, click on flights, then flight availability, then advanced search, so you can specify airlines and city and seats.
– if airline phone is jammed, call the overseas reservation desk. Really???
You can get the phone number on your airlines web site and use Skype to call free. Wow (although I have had trouble finding airline numbers on the website)

1 Comment

Filed under airfare, airline fees, Chicago

One response to “Tips for if my flight gets screwed up at thanksgiving…!

  1. Kit

    Thanks Betsey!

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