Tips for winter travel

While other’s gleefully sing the lyrics of “Let It, Snow,” business travelers know how burdensome snow can be for their travels.

Though the first day of winter is still a couple of days away, we’ve already seen some record-breaking winter storms. For example, we’re still seeing the effects of Winter Storm Diego, with school closings and power outages. In fact, the storm caused more than 500 flights to be canceled in the southeast.

As we approach the winter season, we’d like to share some tips for surviving travels during the season.

Check the status of your flight
While this is a tip that one should remember, regardless of the season, it can be increasingly important during the winter. Prior to heading to the airport, one should check on their airline’s website to see if there are cancelations or delays. Another option for EWA travelers is to install the TripCase app to their mobile device and opt-in to receive push notifications. This feature alerts the traveler in real time 24/7 if any changes such as flight delays and/or other changes have occurred.

Arrive early
Are you nervous that a winter storm may disrupt your travels? Arrive at the airport early. Your rule of thumb should always be to arrive at the airport early, as it’ll save you a headache, should anything go wrong. However, should you be worried about the possibility of a cancellation, there will be a better chance for you to on an earlier flight or even a different connection if you get to the airport early.

Invest in travel insurance
The saying goes, better safe than sorry. Especially if your fare is nonrefundable, it’s highly recommended that you look into getting travel insurance. While protecting you in the event of a weather-related cancelation, it also can provide coverage in the event of a delay, missing a connection, or if a family member gets sick. EWA works with TravelGuard, making it easy for our travelers to get the package that works for them.

Call the airline only when necessary
Unless you’d like to be on hold for hours on end, you should probably refrain from calling the airline during a weather-related cancelation. As you can imagine, hundreds of other impacted travelers are most likely calling to resolve the same issue as yours. There are very rare cases when you should contact the airlines directly. Namely, if you would like to reissue a ticket on another carrier, you would want to contact the airline, as your agent is unable to do so.

Stay in contact with your agent
Should you be working with a travel agent, it’s of your best interest to stay in contact with them so they can advise you of what to do. We asked our International Travel Counselor, Kim Grasso, for some expert advice on what to do should one’s flight be canceled. She explained, “Getting through to the airlines when there are weather issues might be extremely difficult. Your best bet would be to contact EWA Travel first. We can confirm or deny if your flight has been canceled or not. EWA Travel has access to all of the airlines’ waiver codes that they provide, in order to get your ticket reissued or reaccommodated, usually at no cost.”

Katlyn Pierre