It seems there have never been more airline cancellations than now. Travel has finally opened up and now we have new obstacles. Our industry is riddled with staff shortages in experienced employees, and travel suppliers are desperately trying to recover months of lost revenue.
Business Travelers are returning to a very different corporate travel experience.
So, how to best make your way through this maze? First, realize that not every obstacle you encounter comes from outside. Many of our challenges are made by choices we’ve made, that lead us down the wrong path. And give yourself a break, because most of these choices were made with the best of intentions and can only be seen clearly upon reflection. Having said that, we suggest the following strategies…
- The Early Bird Gets the Worm. Flying between 6:00am and 7:00am has cheaper fares, less competition for seats and being the first flight means cancellations on connecting flights won’t have a cascade effect. Plus there are less cancellations in the first place. On top of that they have the best on-schedule arrival times – just 8.6 minutes late, on average. Best of all, if your flight does get delayed or canceled, you’ll have a better shot at getting another flight later in the day than someone leaving in the afternoon/evening. Obviously, the last flight of the day is a no-no.
- Fly Non-Stop if Possible. The fewer the number of connecting flights, the better the chance you don’t get cancelled.
- Stick With the Big Carriers. Delta, United and American have the biggest fleets and the most flights on the planet. If you get cancelled, they’re more likely to have a solution that involves walking across the airport to catch a flight connecting through a different city, sometimes really soon. You may spend more time in the air, but’s that better than missing your meeting, or having to reschedule and come back on a different day.
- Consider going a day early. If you have an important meeting, go the day before and set up a less important meeting with another client or prospect the day before. Other options are visiting with friends or relatives in the city, or turning it into a Bleisure Trip by adding a visit to a bucket-list attraction in the destination. Just splitting the travel into two days will go easier on your road warrior body.
- Plan for getting cancelled. That’s right, assume the worst, and research a Plan B and a Plan C option. Different carriers will suddenly look appealing if you are looking for three possible itineraries. Instead of just looking for the cheapest fare, make your buying decision based on the best overall range of options. With hundreds of flights getting cancelled in a single day, it’s not an unreasonable approach.
- Research the weather in both departure and arrival cities the day before. Showing up at the airport knowing what to expect will increase your chances of getting rebooked with the right flight.
- Be sure to check your email before leaving for the airport. If you need rebooking you should get that done as soon as possible. (All Teplis clients are supplied with FlightStats® e-mail alerts which let them know if their flight is cancelled, changed or changes gates.) Being the first passenger on a cancelled flight to make new arrangements can mean the difference between getting the flight you need and getting disappointed.
And while we’re on the subject of FlightStats®, if you’re a Teplis traveler, make sure you don’t opt-out for the service. Now is the time when you could use it the most!