Friday, August 22, 2014

So Your Flight is Going Nowhere

Scenes of sad or infuriated people unfold before me every trip I make to the airport.  I can only watch and shake my head.  I know the feeling.  You know you did everything right in booking your flight, you check-in for your flight 24 hours prior, you show up to the airport on time, and so on and so on.

"I have to be there.  My sister's getting married tomorrow!!"  Uh-oh.

"But our group begins touring tomorrow in London.  We can't miss it!!"  Oh, man..............

How about this?  Your flight departs on time, but sits on the tarmac longer than what is considered normal. Minutes later, the captain's voice comes over the P.A. and announces that the plane is going back to the gate, and the flight will be rerouted to another airport due to the plane being too heavy, and a closer airport for refueling is necessary before we get to our destination.  WHAT???

This recently happened to me.  It meant that my flight would no longer reach Knoxville, Tennessee at 5pm, but closer to midnight instead.  Although my family had plans to sight-see the next day, I wasn't too concerned.  There was plenty of room in our three-day itinerary in Knoxville to move activities around.  If our flight moved out one day later, it wouldn't have been enough to really mess things up.  What did I do right? I booked an early flight out of San Diego, and made sure it was my travel day, and not a day that I had to be somewhere important.

How do you avoid these unfortunate situations?

You have to make room in your schedule for flight delays or cancellations.

Pay attention to local & national news.  Are events (union strikes, weather, natural disasters, etc.) here and there likely to upset your plans?

If so, consider other forms of transportation, or a combination of two or three modes to get to your destination (train, plane and automobile).

Add a couple of days to your planned itinerary.  If the meeting/special event is on a Friday, arrive 2 - days prior and do a little sightseeing.  Take in the local sights, become familiar with the surroundings, do a test drive to that meeting/special event location. Doing this lessens the stress of trying to get to your destination, and allows you to breathe and feel very relaxed.

Again, allow yourself enough time to secure other flight arrangements or land transportation, or until someone can beam you up for transport to your destination.


What is your back-up plan?


  1. Fortunately, I've never had a flight cancelled or severely delayed at the last minute! *knocks on wood* This is a great post for travel days!


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