When travelling by plane, whether we like it or not, we are always at the mercy of the world’s weather systems. They dictate whether planes are free to take off, and again if they are safe to land.
For those living in Canada like ourselves, entire boards of cancellations is not an uncommon sight when snow storms roll in. Look back to the Christmas just gone, if you need an example of just how bad things can get:
How to prepare for Snow storms when flying
So, what exactly can you do to ensure you are in the best possible shape to endure what mother nature has to throw at us? Our comprehensive list is designed to keep you covered, even if you find yourself stranded in an airport for days on end!
1. Stay up to date with the weather forecast
The weather forecast will give you a great idea of whether or not a particular snow storm might hit the airport you are leaving from! This information will be ever changing, so you might save yourself a lot of stress and worry if you are up to date with the latest information.
2. Check your flight status before you leave
Obviously, if your flight is cancelled, there is absolutely no point making your way to an airport where thousands of travellers are already stranded, all of whom will be looking for the next flight out.
You would be better off dealing with the consequences from the safety and security of your own home.
3. Pre-book a hotel room if snow storms are expected
A great option for those that can afford it, because as soon as the cancellations start to roll in, prices will fly and availability will dwindle.
Otherwise, if you have friends or family living within the vicinity of the airport, let them know you may need to spend the night ahead of time!
4. Allow Extra time for commute and check-in
Heavy snow will cause issues for every leg of your journey. So, it is important to give yourself plenty of time even to get to the airport.
When you do arrive, getting through security will likely be chaos, with lot’s of travellers arriving late to flights for not following the above advice!
5. Keep your phone charged at all times
Arriving with 100% battery life might not be enough, you need a contingency in the event you end up being delayed. Outlets will likely be in scarce supply, so it is a great idea to bring along a powerbank to keep you connected.
Having a charged phone is essential to keeping track of all the changes that may effect your departure.
6. bring everything you need to stay warm
In the worst case scenario, you might have to spend a night or two in the airport. So, it is a great idea to pack a travel pillow, as well as your most comfortable, warm clothes.
Make sure to consider, if you want to sleep, you will most likely be curling up on the floor. So, prepare for exactly that.
7. Keep snacks and water on hand
Bringing a re-usable water bottle, and preparing enough food to keep you both fed and entertained is essential to success in a snow storm.
If delays do happen, just remember that everyone else will be getting hungry at similar times and you might find yourself queuing for hours!
8. Weather-proof your important documents
Keep all your documents together in a waterproof housing; you might only be exposed to the elements for a few minutes on the way to the airport, but is that a risk you are willing to take?
9. Be patient and Always respect the Airport staff
Snow storms are difficult for everyone in the airport, the staff on the ground will be doing everything they can to get travellers where they need to be. But, the reality is, they can do very little to actually help – so be as understanding of this as you can!
10. If your time is valuable, consider a travel agent
To put yourself a step ahead of the everyday traveller, particularly when travelling for work, booking your trip through a corporate travel agency ensures that you have the best possible chance of making it to your destination.
A skilled corporate agent will get to problem solving well before cancelations arise! At Inspired, we managed to get each and everyone of our clients home for Christmas in 2022, which was far from the case for many travelling in the holiday season.
Keep an eye out for those that offer 24/7 emergency support!