Contact Your Airline First
Number one tip: Whether it’s an airport delay or flight cancellation, contact your airline – immediately.
Here’s why: Airlines have fewer seats on fewer flights these days, so only a lucky few will be able to grab the next available seats on a flight. Being first in line to snag a seat is key.
If Your Flight is Canceled:
- Multi-task communications: If your flight is canceled or delayed, immediately get in line for a gate agent; at the same time, call the airline (it may be quicker)
- Use your elite miles status: If your status entitles you to a dedicated airline contact hotline, use it
- Follow your airline on Twitter: Airlines have staff monitoring social networks, and may respond more quickly to tweets for help than other communications
Note: There are no federal requirements that force airlines to provide you with any hotel or meal vouchers due to events outside their control such as weather, but airline policies on this vary. When in doubt, ask. Some will provide you with certain amenities.
Read more here.
At a Glance: How to handle a flight cancellation – The AP came out this write up today…
” If your flight is canceled due to the storm, don’t go to the airport.
To avoid getting stranded, check your flight’s status early the day you’re flying, and again right before you head to the airport. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is encouraging travelers to make sure their flight will be departing before heading to Kennedy, LaGuardia or Newark International airports.
If you’re already at the airport when your flight is canceled, put your legs and fingers to work. Walk over to customer service. While there, dial the customer service number. Odds are you’ll get help over the phone before reaching the front of the line. Still, in the case of Sandy, the best you might do is a cot, like those the Port Authority is promising to supply to stranded travelers. The agency expects the major airlines to cancel all flights at some point Sunday night.
You can try asking for assistance via Twitter. Most airlines task employees with monitoring their Twitter feed. However, for this storm JetBlue has requested that people in need of help call the airline. Other airlines could do the same.
There are also a couple of financial basics to be aware of.
The airlines have waived change fees, typically $150, for flights delayed or canceled due to the storm. But keep in mind that airlines usually only waive this fee once. Be certain you want to change your itinerary before you lock it in. Otherwise, you’ll be out $150 if you have to make a second change. You also might pay more for a difference in the flight’s price
If you cancel your booking altogether, the airline might offer you a voucher for a future flight. But you can ask for cash instead.
Stay Safe and Updated on Hurricane Sandy with These BlackBerry Apps
“STORM WATCH provides graphical displays and text based information on your BlackBerry® covering current and forecast adverse weather conditions for the continental United States. Convective watches and warnings from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, Tropical Storm/Hurricane watches & warnings from the National Hurricane center in Miami, plus all Watches, Warnings, Advisories and Special Weather Statements, including Tsunami warnings, are available. All information is available by clicking on Icons and/or drilling down into the Maps, Charts and Radar displays.
iEmergency can really help you in case of emergency. Just launch the application and you have three choices:
- Text your position to someone (who will receive a clickable link, it doesn’t matter which smartphone he/she has! He/she will see on Google maps, exactly where you are!);
- See your position on your own Map Application;
- Call an emergency number: iEmergency gives you the chance to call the emergency service wherever you are in the world!
For the rest of the article, apps and the photo credit go to N4bb…
(By the way, the photo is photoshopped)
From Time Magazine – Hurricane Sandy iphone Apps
“Want to keep tabs on it with your phone or tablet? We published this list of hurricane tracking apps when Irene hit in late August. Here it is again, updated and joined by new ones.
Hurricane (iPhone, $2.99). Kitty Code’s eponymous storm tracker rates 4.5 out of five stars across all versions with over 1,700 users weighing in — an encouraging sign. It’s a one-stop hurricane shop devoted to tracking maps, satellite views, five-day forecasts, radar and bulletins related to hurricanes. You can see Hurricane Sandy’s full path, from its starting classification point to its current position. And if you want quick metrics on any given storm, all you need to do is tap on one to summon informational pop-ups that detail wind speed, storm speed and direction, pressure and so forth.
Like any good iOS app with location service enabled, it’ll even tell you how far you are from various points in the storm. And if you’re looking for historical info, it has “detailed, interactive” historical hurricane data for the Atlantic (back to 1851) and the East and Central Pacific (back to 1949). The iPad version, Hurricane HD ($3.99), essentially prettifies all of the above, offers a more easy-to-navigate interface and adds video and blog updates from HurricaneTrack.com.