The unique mid-week timing of Christmas and New Year’s this 2013 gave some the chance for an extended getaway. Getting back, however, proved not so easy!
Between January 4th and January 6th, more than 8,000 flights were canceled in the United States (per FlightAware.com). Our phones lit up, and we fielded countless phone calls, emails, and online messages from travelers stranded in the Caribbean – Grand Cayman, Barbados, Nassau, Aruba – who are desperate to get back to work and get kids back to school.
Stranded travelers who bet on the airlines lost big this holiday season
What caused this not-so-stellar start to 2014? Greed and predictably bad weather:
Airlines have crafted schedules that are tightly orchestrated and overbooked, so when even one flight fails to perform as expected, a domino effect triggers delays and cancellations across the network. Good for their profits, not so good for their passengers.
There was winter weather in the Northeast. Snowstorms, ice, and cold degraded operations at Boston’s Logan airport and the major New York airports, hubs for Jet Blue in particular. Surprise! Or not? It is winter, after all...
So what can you do?
Try to stay ahead of the curve. If you are watching the weather and stay conscious of flight statuses preceding yours, you may be able to get out before the dominoes start to fall.
Don’t rely solely on information at the airport from your airline. Use flight tracking apps and sites, and get information from sources other than the airline you are booked on. Monitor comments and input from fellow travelers via Twitter or Facebook.
Head to the airline lounge and buy yourself a one-day pass. You will gain access to the nicest, most helpful staff the airline has to offer. You will avoid the crowds & eternal lines of grumpy travelers. Who knows? You may get a glass of complimentary champagne to help keep a positive outlook!
And last, but certainly not least… fly with Linear Air! Avoiding the airlines during peak capacity will save your time & your sanity!
p.s. if you do wind up stranded in an airport, we hope it’s with these guys!