Tips For Northeast Storm Stranded Air Travelers
The snow in the Northeast is really wreaking havoc on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. Almost all flights out of Philadelphia/ NYC/ Boston have been cancelled this afternoon, leaving thousands stranded. If you find yourself stranded, read my post on weather related cancellations,
Some tips for this situation-
If you are trying to fly to/from NYC- you may not be reaccomodated until Wednesday at the earliest. If you need to be back in the city or leave, try routing through Washington DC (DCA or IAD). From what I hear, they've been spared by the worst of the storm and flights (including international). Just checking their flight statuses for London flights, and ther are all scheduled to go out on time today. The Acela is a 2 hour and 52 minute NYC- DC trip and I see tickets for $158 for this evening. I show open seats in coach (though not many), business and first class on the 9:45am Dulles to Heathrow tomorrow, December 27th. If you NEED to be in Europe tomorrow, it may make sense to buy on United and get reimbursed for your cancelled flight.
If you can't get through to your airline, here are a couple tips:
1) If you speak a foreign language, call their foreign speaking lines. These usually pick up right away
2) Call their international ticketing offices. It may cost you, but at least you'll be able to speak with someone who may be able to help
3) Have a frequent flyer relative call the elite line and try to help you. I know this is technically against the rules, but if you are in a jam and can't get through, you should use every resource you have
4) If your flight gets cancelled due to weather, you can almost always get a refund on that portion of the itinerary. Deal with that later, once you are home- most airlines should process that easily once the storm is over and they have suffcient customer service employees to assist.
If you need expert assistance, you can enlist the services of Cranky Concierge.
If you are stranded - just keep your head up and get creative. Safe travels all!