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Canceled Flight Due to Inclement Weather? Here’s Whatto Do

Written by Tasmiah Rashid

This blog post was updated on June 8, 2023.

Bathing suits, sunblock, camera, picture-worthy outfits, and an awesome deal on last minute flights– you’re ready to set out on that dream vacation you’ve been waiting to go on for months! But, as luck will have it, a few days before your flight you hear the news that bad weather is heading your way. Not only does this put a slight damper on your plans to get that killer tan, but it may also affect your wallet. Yikes.

Recovering costs from trip cancellations due to inclement weather or even natural disasters is never an easy endeavor. But that’s why you have us! If your upcoming travel plans happen to be affected by Mother Nature, here are the steps you need to take to try and recoup some of your losses.

Connect with Your Airline

Depending on your airline, you may have different levels of coverage. If you’re struck by a weather-related cancellation, you may be entitled to a hotel stay, food vouchers, a replacement ticket…or none of the above. Have your flight and confirmation number on hand when you call and check the website for on the status of your flight.

Social Media, Websites & Apps

A great way to connect quickly to your flight carrier is to follow your airline on social media, checking an airline’s website to determining the status of your flight, or by downloading their app. Once you’ve confirmed that your flight is canceled, logging onto your airline’s app or into your account online can help determine whether you have already been booked on another flight. Many airlines also offer notifications via text message, email, or Twitter. Airlines are speedy responders on social media, especially because it’s a public forum and they’d like to be viewed as responsive and fair by current and potential clients.

Also, smart phone apps such as Next Flight and Flight Aware offer real-time flight tracking, so you’re not twiddling your thumbs waiting for airline websites to load and update their information.

Give ’em a Call

By calling your airline directly, not only are you maximizing your means of communication, but you can also reach them quicker than by standing in line. Rather than waiting your turn to speak with a distressed employee, catch an employee that may not be having a terrible shift by calling your airline’s customer service line and see if they can figure out how to change your flight. With this list of airline phone numbers, you can skip the line, whip out your phone and beat the masses when you call!

Looking for last minute flights to skip town…and that storm coming up ahead? Look no further! We’ve got great flight deals right here!

Read up on Your Rights Before You Book

Before you even book your last minute flights, you should know your rights. Most airlines have a Contract of Carriage, which outlines passengers’ rights, including things like delays and cancellations (check out this handy list compiled by Airfarewatchdog with links to the contract for major U.S. and international carriers). Although things like compensation, accommodation, and re-bookings vary airline to airline, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s consumer rules,  U.S. airlines operating domestic flights are prohibited from allowing an aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours without deplaning passengers. In the case of a heavy delay, airlines are required by law to provide travelers with adequate food and drinking water within two hours of the aircraft being delayed.

Know Your Travel Insurance Policy Inside-Out

If your flight is canceled due to a natural disaster or your trip destination is affected by one–and you made the right choice and purchased travel insurance–chances are that there will be at least some type of coverage for your flight. It could be reimbursement, future travel vouchers, a hotel stay, or a replacement flight. Be sure to check your insurance policy at the time of purchase. Many travel insurance plans that include trip cancellation or interruption coverage will offer to cover some of your expenses when your trip is canceled due to severe weather conditions. (Handy rule of thumb: once a storm is named, you can no longer purchase travel insurance to protect against it!)

Be sure to connect with your travel insurance company before you set out. Ask all of your questions from the get-go, so you don’t find yourself in the a situation where you’ve paid for insurance and also lose out on your hard-earned money and precious time!

Have any other travel tips to the list? Let us know how you deal with weather-induced cancellations in the comments below!

About the author

Tasmiah Rashid

In a past life, Tasmiah was either a Bollywood actress, renowned ethnographer or master chef; no questions asked. In this one, she is a shower-singing, croissant enthusiast, who also writes content for Fareportal, in that order.

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