Winter may be a demanding mistress. You’ve purchased your plane tickets to return home for the holidays or to a tropical locale, and then BOOM, snowmageddon strikes. Suddenly, your world spins out of control as you try to remedy the damage that Mother Nature caused. Don’t worry, we’ll make sure you reach to your destination safely with these helpful recommendations for Avoiding Winter Flight Problems!
When I was working as a contact centre representative for a travel firm, the call traffic was always high from the end of November to the beginning of January. Why? The volume is caused not just by Christmas and New Year itinerary reservations, but also by large numbers of customers calling to modify and/or cancel their flights owing to heavy snowfall and other winter-related concerns.
As a consumer, whether you purchased your ticket directly from the airline’s website or through a travel agency, remember that interacting with a customer care agent to make modifications or maybe cancel your flight due to weather-related causes will take more than one minute of your time. Take note of these recommendations on how to minimise discomfort when travelling in the uncomfortable winter snow to avoid waiting for an hour for someone to respond and another hour for your complaint to be answered.
1: Maintain vigilance.
Preparing for a future trip does not end when you purchase your flight. It is your obligation, especially when travelling during the winter, to constantly be aware of weather updates and the current status of your flight. Remember that heavy snow means reduced visibility, which usually means flight delays or cancellations. As a result, if you are not the sort of person who enjoys sitting at an airport for hours (and who would? ), then on to the following point.
2: Rebook your flight for free or get a full refund.
If you believe that travelling on an earlier or later date is a better alternative, contact the airline/travel agent immediately to change your ticket without incurring additional fees. There is, however, a catch. Only when the airline has issued a travel advice is it possible to rebook your journey for free. Even if the news indicates that it is unsafe to fly on a specific day but the airline has not issued a travel advice, changing your plan will be at your own responsibility. Furthermore, changes to your flight only affect the date and time, not the origin or destination, even if it is a neighbouring airport.
Otherwise, if you decide not to attend, inquire about a complete refund. If so, that’s great news. But don’t get too excited; not all airlines are helpful when it comes to refunds. The majority of them will just offer you a flight credit. In other words, in the event of a full cancellation, the money you paid can be applied to another ticket within a year of the original date you booked the cancelled travel.
Sounds difficult? Simply said, if you bought your initial journey for December but decide to cancel, you will be offered the opportunity to book another flight using the amount you paid (credit), and you must fly on or before December. You must, of course, pay any difference in the new fare’s rate.
3: The Void’s Power!
I’ll let you in on a little secret. For example, suppose you’ve reserved a flight for December. Even if your flight is non-refundable, you have around 23 hours to cancel it for ANY REASON and receive a full refund. This is known as void in the airline business. To cancel a flight, you must phone the airline/travel agency by midnight on the day you booked it. However, there are qualifications. The aircraft should not have taken off yet, and the cancellation should be made at least two hours before takeoff.
In addition to the previously given instructions, you must be at the airport at least two hours before the flight (for domestic travel) and three hours before the flight for international travel. This is especially true while travelling during the winter. Finally, if you are travelling on a snowy day, it is not recommended that you check in online. If you checked in online but discovered upon arrival at the airport that your flight is delayed or cancelled, the procedure of requesting a free ticket change or cancellation becomes much more complicated.