Airlines Are Changing the Way They Handle Big Storms |

May 27th
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Airlines Are Changing the Way They Handle Big Storms

Airplane_02092013_optBY JANE WOODRUFF

As the latest wild weather closes airports and strands travelers, it is worth noting that airlines are changing the way they deal with bad weather, and it can be better for passengers.

This latest blizzard caused 5,200 cancellations, according to USA Today, and though those grounded flights were mostly out of New York and Boston, taking that many planes out of the air affects flight travel nationwide.

The good news for travelers is that airlines have become much more relaxed about rebooking fees in the face of weather-related cancellations.  They also have a better game plan in place for working ahead of storms to ensure things go as smoothly as possible. lists some of the airlines’ new strategies, which include cancelling flights early to keep the public away from airports and avoid passengers getting stranded in the terminals.  This also reduces the chance that planes full of passengers will be forced to sit on the runways for hours on end.  New laws charge the airlines steep fines if they keep passengers on the runways for more than three hours.

Travelers can probably handle much of the rebooking online or on the phone, and avoid going to the airport to stand in line and hope for the best.  Go to your airlines’ website, and search under Travel Alerts or Travel Advisory.  In most cases, you can rebook one time for no fee.

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