Jet setting in the winter months can be a huge hassle, thanks to the combination of bad weather and national holidays. Fortunately, travelers can ease some of their stress with an open mind and a little planning. Here are some travel tips for minimizing delays this season.

Airport Weather Delays

Check For Delays And Leave Early

Before heading for the airport, it is always a good idea to check for delays of any kind well in advance to takeoff. That includes flight delays as well as traffic jams around the airport. Travelers should already plan on leaving early in case there are accidents that occur while they are the road, but should leave earlier if they find out about one beforehand. As for flights, unless the plane is delayed by a number of hours, travelers should take advantage of the added time and leave at the same time they originally intended. Travelers can bring some form of entertainment if they have a few moments to spare at the terminal. If the flight is canceled, diligent travelers will be happy to have checked for delays ahead of time.

Avoid Connections Or Plan Accordingly

Weather can delay any one of the legs on connecting flights. If there is not enough time during a layover to compensate for that delay, travelers may just miss their ride home. If connecting flights cannot be avoided, travelers should allow ample layover times and keep careful watch of the weather at their departing, layover and arriving airports. Should there be a delay of some sort, passengers may wish to inform their flight attendant of their travel arrangements, and he or she may be able to hold the next flight or at least assist in a quicker departure from the plane. Passengers may also want to do research ahead of time to determine alternate flights if they are delayed, Independent Traveler also recommended. It is much easier to figure out what other flights can be taken from the comfort of one’s own home compared to a crowded airport.

Leave In The Morning, Choose Alternate Airports

Delays are not just the result of bad weather. During the holidays, crowds are often the cause of an altered departure time. Conde Nast Traveler recommended that people fly in the morning, when there is less flight traffic. The worst time to travel is between 7 and 10 p.m., which is airport rush hour. Also, delays can be avoided by flying into smaller airports with less air traffic.

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