2016 travel is upon us, and the hectic 2015 holiday travel season is at an end. I had a wonderful time vacationing with friends and family in Los Angeles, recovering from my second ankle surgery, even though I was again faced with a difficult holiday travel experience on crutches (similar to those after my first surgery in 2014). To make matters worse, with the wacky El Niño weather the past few weeks, cancelling and delaying flights all across the Western Hemisphere, we all had to deal with a longer than average expected stay in the airport.
So, rather than bring you our usual airport of the month club write-up this month (don’t worry, it will be back next month), we thought we’d focus on travel hacks (#travelhack) for 2016 travel to help you stay one-step ahead of those cancellations and delays. Here are my favorite tips to beat those 2016 travel delays and cancellations (employed and tested this holiday season):
- If you have a connecting flight, and your first flight is delayed, call the airline to ensure you can still make your second flight. If you can’t, have them re-book it for a later time, and consider flying through an alternate stopover city. Even if it looks like you’ll be able to make your second flight, always have a backup plan. You can call the airline and get wait-listed on an alternate flight in case things go south. The airline will be able to do this for you even if you still keep your seat on your original flight.
- If your initial flight does get cancelled or delayed too much, consider flying out of a secondary airport in the same city. For example, BUR instead of LAX, or PBI instead of FLL. This is especially helpful if you haven’t gotten to the airport yet, and still have some flexibility. The airline should be able to make this change for you free of charge.
- If your 2016 travel delays and cancellations are SO bad that there aren’t any more flights out that day on the airline you booked, you can call and get them to re-book you on an alternate airline with availability. I used this approach when my United LAX to DEN flight was cancelled 3 hours before the flight, and all other LAX-DEN United flights were 20 wait-list customers deep. With a little pushing, I was able to get re-booked on American and made it back to DEN ahead of schedule. The airlines don’t love doing this, because they lose the revenue of your ticket, and have to pay their competitor airline to book your seat. But, from a business standpoint, the airline can typically write-off this loss, so you shouldn’t feel too bad about it 😉
If you’re looking for a 2016 travel #layovertip or dining or shopping options during that long(er) layover, of course you can bring up the tripchi airport app and find a listing of what’s around you based on your flight time and the Concourse you’re leaving from. If you’re passing through any of the airports we cover, we’d love to get your feedback! Find these tips and more on the tripchi airport app.
New to the tripchi airport app community? tripchi is your passport to explore the airport. We roll up dining and shopping options, charging stations, as well as airport art, airport secrets and #layovertips. And, you can browse lounges, find special deals and offers, and track your flight information. It’s now available on the Android through this direct download (click here), and will be on the Google Play store soon. For all you iPhone users out there, our plan is to roll the tripchi airport app out on the iTunes store next.
We’re currently looking for feedback on the Android app (send us an email at email@example.com).
How can you help?
- In the aviation industry? Pass your airport connections our way? We are looking at running a limited trial to prove that we can help not only airport guests, but also airports.
- Flying soon? We need your help to source more and better airport content. If you’d like to write for us or contribute your airport findings, shoot us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read on for the monthly blog highlights!