Weather Delays and How I Manage Them

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Good morning from icy DFW International Airport.  Its only 8:30 am but there are already close to 1,000 cancelled flights today.  But I’m one of the lucky ones, I think – my flight is scheduled to go out!

DFW is a ghost town as seen from the window of the Hyatt Regency DFW at 7:30 am.

DFW is a ghost town as seen from the window of the Hyatt Regency DFW at 7:30 am.

I’ve been here since last night – staying at the Hyatt Regency DFW, a property I have a love/hate relationship with (after last night we are leaning back towards hate thanks to jacked up room service and a broken electrical outlet).  It looks like Delta is trying their best to operate a full schedule today so my choice to complete their Platinum challenge was a good decision as it turns out!

Today my social media feed is full of complaints about the weather and irregular flight operations.  A typical complaint is “I can’t believe American cancelled my connecting flight through DFW and I’m just now finding out now that all the other flight options are booked”.  I have to raise an eyebrow when I see things like this, especially given that this weather event has been in the forecast for a week and American put a travel waiver in place over the weekend.

But perhaps its because I have my own secret tip that helps me manage many weather delays.  It’s really easy and it takes me less than two minutes a day.

The Weather Channel smartphone app lets you save up to ten cities at one time.  I keep my next ten cities (home, connecting airports, destination airports, and/or land destinations) stored in sequential order.

The Weather Channel app lets you save up to ten cities at one time.

The Weather Channel app lets you save up to ten cities at one time.

Each morning when I wake up, I do a quick scan through my next ten days of travel.  I can go to the ten day forecast for one city and then swipe left to scan them all sequentially.

10 day forecast in The Weather Channel's app.

10 day forecast in The Weather Channel’s app.

When I see problems in the forecast, I can start proactively monitoring possible flight changes, airline waivers, and contingency plans.  I may not always need to book new flights but at times it can be helpful to plan for an earlier airport arrival or to repack to avoid checking a bag if I need to be more flexible with my arrangements.

While this doesn’t halt weather delays, it does help me manage my expectations and those of my clients.  I can plan my packing more efficiently and plan ahead for weather issues (such as proactively grabbing a hotel room at DFW last night before they got booked up by flight cancellations).  Its now engrained as a two minute routine each morning – and as a bonus, it also keeps me on top of my plans at home (when to garden or enjoy brunch on a patio versus when I want to bring plants indoors and plan for rainy day activities)!

What do you to do monitor weather delays and related issues?

 

 

About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last eighteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 48.5 US states. Although she averages 200 days a year on the road, she loves to return to “the homestead” in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and cocktail mixology.

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