Specially during winter months many flights are canceled due to bad weather, therefore it is a good idea to plan ahead by following the steps below:
Before your flight
• If bad storms are in the forecast, call the airline and try to change your connection to a hub with better weather.
• Make a list of hotels near the airport. If you call the front desk directly you can generally find a room, even if the hotel’s website says it’s full!
• If you booked through your company or used a travel agency don’t hesitate to call the agent and let him know about the situation, he will help rebook if things go bad.
• Sign up for flight-status alerts from your airline and FlightStats.com.
• Consider a back-up reservation on an airline like Southwest that has no change fees. (Southwest @ BWI airport)
At the Airport
• Check if your connecting flight is still scheduled before you board first flight.
• If your flight has a long delay, ask the crew how much duty time they have left. If not much, start calling for hotel rooms because your flight may well be canceled.
• Use the airline’s website. Sometimes, you can often get rebooked or find the airline has already rebooked you.
• Many airports are prepared to help with cots, blankets, diapers, even showers. Airport courtesy phones or workers can tell you what concessions or TSA checkpoints are open, where to find an ATM or where the quietest sleeping areas are located.
Transport from the Airport to the Hotel
If the problem is due to heavy rain or snow and if you are lucky enough to be at an airport that provides metro/subway transportation, you will be better off taking the metro instead
of a taxi or shuttle because road traffic can become a nightmare depending where you are. For example, the last storm we had in Washington, DC caused traffic to stop and a trip that would take 15 minutes took hours, imagine the poor folks that chose a taxi. American Guest House Bed and Breakfast is accessible by metrorail from Reagan National Airport-DCA.
• Airlines and airports can give you vouchers toward discounted hotel rooms.
• Hotel-booking services like Airport Accommodations (800-935-5995) have rooms reserved at nearby hotels for distressed travelers.
• Keep essentials in your carry-on. Collecting bags may mean leaving secure areas, and you won’t be able to go back through security with big bags, even if TSA is still open.
• You might be able to check bags at an airport hotel even if you aren’t a guest.
• Work the standby list. Even fully booked flights can have seats open up if other customers don’t show up. Go at the gate you might get lucky.
Last for last you can always consider buying a seat on a discount airline. If you can find one, you can get a refund from the airline that’s grounded and buy a ticket (more expensive, no doubt) on another carrier.
Washington Dulles International Airport (703) 572-2700 www.mwaa.com
Washington Reagan National Airport (703) 417 8000 www.mwaa.com
Baltimore (BWI) Airport (410) 859-7111 www.bwiairport.com
Enjoy your trip! Jonathan
Washington DC Bed and Breakfast accommodations. We are centrally located, 10 minutes walk to DuPont Circle metro/subway, 1 mile north west of White House.