[Tip #4] – Airline Problems at the Airport?

Thanksgiving Travel Delays

Airline Problems?  Don’t be a victim.

Anyone who reads the news knows about airport closures, cancelled flights… & lots of schedule changes.

Flight interruptions and airport closures suck.

Just because you have plans to fly from Miami to Jamaica for some R&R does not mean your plane will make it there to pick you up.

In a Nutshell: Advance planning is a PITA. But it will save your butt when SHTF. So take a few minutes to prepare for flight interruptions, then sit back and relax. Until you shouldn’t relax…..then follow this checklist.

The Planning phase – follow these steps:

The day before you leave – make a plan (these 15 mins can save your vacation).

  • Use the airline’s official app OR an app like Tripit OR send a copy of your airline confirmation to your phone
  • Reconfirm your flights
  • Make believe your flight was just cancelled, and do this:
    1. Go online and print or screenshot alternate flights going to your destination
    2. both non-stop and with connections
    3. and list your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice
  • Write down all important phone numbers:
    1. Airline
    2. Transfer Company
    3. Resort
    4. Travel agency
    5. Travel agency after-hours
  • Leave early for the airport – in case the flight is overbooked – or you blow a tire
  • Pack light — Can you fit everything in a Rolly and a carry-on? (so you can switch planes on the run and avoid checked baggage issues) You would be stunned at what you can get in a carry-on if you pack right.  Here is a packing checklist for you – The Best Vacation Packing Checklist

The Morning that you fly:

  • Find out where your plane is.  Go to FlightAware and find out if your plane is on schedule.

The SHTF Phase – If your flight is cancelled:


  • …go stand in the line like they tell you to do
  • …try to go online and get info (the party is over, other people have read this advice)
  • …get confused » follow the “Do” steps quickly (there are 200+ other people who are fighting for that next flight)


  • …go to FlightAware and find out where your plane is.   
  • …get on the phone – with whomever you bought your ticket from
  • …speak calmly & smile – screaming won’t help (agents deal with delayed or canceled flights all the time)
  • …be politely firm – know what you want (they need a good reason not to give it to you)
  • …think about your luggage – if you checked bags, head to the baggage area (but, be on the phone at the same time)
  • …Then contact your hotel transfer company – they need your new flight info

SUGGESTION: Check out the TripIt Pro phone app – the $49 annual fee is well worth the great extra benefits, we love TripIt Pro because it quickly locates alternate flights when you’re in the middle of chaos.

Hope this helps………..

» ~Jake

Want to read more of Jake’s Tips? » Jake’s Tips

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[Jake’s Tips] – Finding Cheap Vacation Flights
1 Bag, 2 Weeks: Living out of a Carry-On

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About Jake Johnson 249 Articles
Jake Johnson is a full-time travel bum, who prefers warm climates where the women wear less clothing. We've tried to teach him things like manners and diplomacy, but we've given up and simply rely on our editors to remove the most offensive bits from his articles. We take no responsibility for his inane ramblings opinions - they are his own.
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