5 Tips for Flying In Winter Weather

airplane on the snow

Winter weather conditions can be tough on travelers.  Snow storms can ground your flight in the blink of an eye, leaving you to ride it out in the terminal.

But savvy travelers know there are ways to get around winter weather, employing a few foxy moves.  Following are 5 tips for flying in winter weather that will give you a better chance of getting where you need to be and avoid being grounded.

Tip #1:  Connect right.

Planning to head south for a respite from the cold?  If you need to connect, take care to choose a city in a warmer part of the country.  For example, choose a connection through Houston or Albuquerque, over one through Chicago.  Think warm and connect right.  You’ll have a better chance of avoiding weather delays.

Tip #2:  The early bird catches the worm.

Winter weather demands that you get ahead of the pack.  Arrive at the airport much earlier than you need to.  Should your flight be impacted by an incoming rogue blizzard, you’ll have more opportunities for an earlier flight, or to get a better connection (if it’s the connecting airport that’s the problem).

Tip #3: Track it.

There’s an app for that, of course.  Often, flight tracking applications give you a more accurate read of flight status than the airlines.  They’re that sophisticated.  Keep tabs on what’s going on with your flight, with one of the apps recommended by Conde Nast Traveler.

Tip #4:  Prepare for the worst.

Be sure your carry-on contains items necessary to your comfort, should you be snowed in (toothbrush, extra set of underwear, light sweater or travel blanket).  Then take it one step further.  Book yourself into the airport travel lounge.  Many airports now feature lounges for all passenger classes, for a fee.  With food and drink included, these are comfortable places to ride out extreme weather flight delays.

Tip #5:  Dawn patrol.

We hate to tell you this, but the earlier the flight, the less prone it is to delays.  There are no guarantees and mileage may vary, but opting for the unpopular 6 am flight may save you from delays and cancellations occasioned by extreme weather.

These 5 tips for flying in winter weather can save you from the disappointment of a ruined vacation or missing an important meeting or conference.  Vigilance and planning are at the heart of all of them.  You know it’s winter, so see the contingencies coming.  Head winter off at the pass, like the savvy traveler you are.

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