you I am writing this while sitting in the Philadelphia airport and an announcement just came on saying the airport is under a ground stop. That is never a good thing and since it is weather related there isn't much you can do it about it. You might think you have more of a chance of weather delay during winter when snow and ice are an issue but summer weather can be just as disruptive.
I think it is pretty safe to say that everyone has encountered a flight delay at one time or another. It could be weather related, mechanical issues, crew delays, or something you might never have thought of before. Nobody likes to be delayed but being prepared can be make a big difference. There are a few apps that can come in handy when flying.
#1 - Airline's app. I always make sure I have the app for the airline I am flying on that day. The airline app comes in handy for things like checking in for your flight and watching the status of your flight. One time we were already sitting in the plane out on the tarmac and were delayed. We had a connecting flight that day so after an initial delay boarding the plane and then sitting out on the tarmac another hour we realized there was no way we were going to make that connection. I was able to use the airline's app to make changes to our connecting flight and find another option to move us to. We almost didn't make that connection but luckily we did. Unfortunately our luggage did not but we were also able to sort of track our bags using the airline app as well.
#2 Flight Aware - While the airline's app is good, flight aware offers a bit more information. Flight aware offers real time tracking for all airlines and you can check the status of airports too so you get more information. They even have something called the misery map (you can take a guess at what that will show you). You can see where your plane is coming from and get notifications when it takes off from there and when it lands at your airport. You can also check on the status of the airports you are headed to which can be good to know as well. If your flight is connecting and that airport you are going to connect through is also having delays you might not have to worry as much about missing your connection.
#3 Air Help - I haven't actually tried this one out yet but after reading about it I think it is good to have just in case you need it. Have you ever wondered if you might be entitled to some type of compensation due to the flight delay? You don't need to wonder anymore this app will tell you. They say they can even check on flights from up to 3 years ago so who knows you might have money to collect.
#4 Grab - If you get hungry or thirsty while waiting on your flight but have no idea what food options are in the airport this app can help. This came in handy when I wanted Starbucks in the Philly airport and wasn't sure where I could find one.
If you read my previous blog about what I pack in my carry on you know that I do have everything I need in my carry on in case of delays. The lady sitting behind me today wasn't so prepared and I just heard her say her phone is almost dead and she didn't pack her charging cord in her carry on so now she has to go find one to buy. Another tip is try to find a comfy spot to hang out but don't go too far from your gate because I have learned in the past that even though your flight says an hour delayed now it could actually go back to being on time again without much notice. The airlines really do want to stay on time as much as possible so sometimes they will make some changes in order to avoid delays. So if they are able to do something that keeps you pretty close to on time they will want to get that plane boarded and off the ground as soon as possible.
Travel delays can be a bummer since they might also affect some of your vacation plans that you have already set up for your arrival. That is when having a travel agent can really come in handy. I can jump into action for you to start rearranging things as needed. Worst case you might also need help finding a last minute hotel room if your flight delay turns into needing somewhere to sleep for the night unexpectedly.
Lucky for us I see flight aware is now showing that our plane has arrived so we should be on our way shortly, only about 45 minutes late.
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