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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!
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.
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.
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?