Update: March 7, 2018
Now we have another nor’easter; this means a rough road for everyone that has an airline ticket.
Everyone is jittery and first, you hear about the school cancellations, and then the governor places your state into Emergency mode. Posted cancellations start piling up and everyone wonders what next? This strong coastal storm snarled flights in the Northeast last week, and now we are seeing it again.
More than 2,000 flights had been grounded for today 187 already for Thursday as of 6:45 a.m. ET. according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.com. Most of the cancellations were made preemptively on Tuesday as airlines started to prepare for the developing storm.
"We are very lucky," commented Joe Lipman, President of Summit Management Services, "Our United flight left Newark 14 minutes late this morning. We are waiting for 120 trip winners to arrive in Liberia, Costa for a 5-night Incentive. Summit staff remained in the office last night to monitor the flights and speak with clients wondering if they would get out. Marty Beery Director of Reservation Services is managing regular corporate customers and 4 guests that had reserved flights on their own on flights at 1:00 pm from Newark to Costa Rica. Most likely, they will try and reschedule for tomorrow.'
Things you can do to have extra peace of mind when making air reservations .
- Book your travel with a travel professional; allow them to monitor and help with back up and reservations. He/she can manage air, hotel and car reservations.
- Try to reserve flight departure for early in the day. There is a good chance that the flight from last night will be used for the earliest departure r flights in the morning
- Keep the faith, as the airlines need the plane in its final destination to avoid a ripple effect and bring travelers back
- If the flight is arriving from another city before departing your city, track that flight also ( you can this on the airline website) Check that it is on time
This morning flight we were watching came from Portland to Newark at 6:00 AM and then on to Costa Rica at 8:30 AM
Finally, nobody likes a delay or a canceled flight- It is best to be calm and take it in stride.
- Be safe-Rely on the airlines to fly when the aircraft and weather conditions are safe.
- Remain calm and make the best of any delay, bring a good book, download some movies, bring some sandwiches and things for the kids to do while waiting for the flight today
It is just one of those days when you really wish you had booked your travel plans through a travel professional, and not online or through the airline directly! You will understand what I mean if you visit this site.
The instructions and information on the website are daunting. If you called the airline directly you could wait upwards of an hour. Even with modest airline status, you could wait just as long for someone to help you. Once on the phone, you might ask what they did to protect you from the storm. Did they change your flight for tomorrow and notify you? Most likely they did not.
With Summit Management or most other travel professionals, you would have received a different type of service. Our agents are working remotely so they can service the call volume with calls directly or can text you or email you directly! Emailing or texting is something that online booking services or airlines just do not do as a rule.
Secondly, they would have been available yesterday and would have started to protect your departure on Wednesday before the storm; or at least for Friday morning as they get notices from the airlines about waivers directly from the airline.
Most importantly, they would not only see the carrier you booked on but also the other airlines’ so you are offered several different options in real time.
Would you rather be on your cell phone sitting in the lounge or in a seat at one of the “fine” dining establishments at Newark airport? Or standing in line with hundreds of other stranded travelers?
Your travel professional works hard for you. Next time you are making a reservation, book directly with a travel agent and enjoy the extra services. If this was your meeting or incentive and your family was trying to get in, would you rather be in the trusted hands of a professional travel agent. Are you stuck now? Give Summit a call at 973-239-4005 and press 1 for reservations.
Perhaps we can help.
Please note: we cannot help with flights booked with the airlines directly or seats booked directly or if another travel agency booked your tickets.
You are welcome to call us for options, issue you a new ticket, tell you what flights might be the best for standing by. A service fee applies.
*As a footnote to this Blog and to be fair: I am a 1K flyer on United and my call took less than a minute to be answered. The first seat offered was for January 7th, Sunday. The fare offered one-way fare is $1,213.30 to Ft. Lauderdale. There are no mileage tickets.