How to Plan Ahead for Summer Weather Delays

During the winter, weather conditions like blizzards and ice storms can cause widespread flight delays and even bring your travels to a halt. But weather-related delays can also wreak havoc on your plans because storms can form quickly, stretch for hundreds of miles and move rapidly over large areas of the country. The good news is that there are tips and tricks that anyone can have in their ‘travel toolboxes’ to help prepare for these setbacks. Read on to learn more about how to plan ahead for potential summer weather delays.

Choose your Flights and Connecting Airports Wisely: Choose an early morning flight, before the day’s heat begins to create problems with convection (which produces moisture in the air that can lead to hail, strong winds and heavy rains). Earlier flights lessen the chance of having problems with connecting flights and if your flight is cancelled or delayed, you’ll have a head start finding an alternate flight. When delays hit the busiest airports, they tend to “cascade,” getting worse throughout the day, because there’s no spare capacity to catch up once delays creep into the schedule.

Extra Credit: If your schedule allows, try flying out the day before you need to be at your destination to allow extra buffer time.

Check the Forecast(s): Think outside-the-box when checking the weather forecast for your trip; don’t just look at the weather in your departure and arrival cities. You should also check any layover cities. For example, it may be sunny and beautiful in New York and Los Angeles, but if you’re connecting in Chicago where a thunderstorm is expected, you could run into a delay or cancellation that could keep you from getting to your destination on time. Call your airline as soon as you see potential for bad weather and see if you can get a connecting flight through a different part of the country. This may complicate things a bit, but at least you won’t be sleeping in a chair at the airport.

Prepare for Delays: Since demand is higher from June to August than for the rest of the year, airlines schedule more flights. If severe thunderstorms – or worse, tropical storms – slow departures and arrivals in some of the major hub cities, the potential result is a domino effect of delays and cancellations. If you’re already at the airport and your flight gets delayed or cancelled, don’t just count on a gate agent to search the schedules of other airlines. Research alternate flights ahead of time and make sure to keep all of the information, including airlines’ phone numbers, handy (calling an airline’s customer service number is often much quicker than waiting in line at the airport). It’s also always a good plan to follow airline updates on your carrier’s website, mobile app, and on social media.

Remain Accessible: In case your initial or connecting flight does end up being delayed due to weather conditions, it’s important to remain accessible during the delay. Make sure to download your airline’s mobile app and turn on the notifications to avoid missing any updates regarding your flight. Stay near the departure kiosk to ensure you can hear all flight updates clearly. Keep your mobile phone handy to avoid missing important updates, as many airlines will give you the courtesy of notifying you of flight delays and cancellations via text and email.

Don’t Forget Assistance: When flights are canceled or delayed, On Call’s clients and travelers can always call us for help! We’ll not only review new flight options with alternate airlines, but we can also assist with booking flights and hotel accommodations. We can also notify others—such as a boss, colleague, ground transport company, and/or family member—of the new anticipated ETA. Feel free to visit us at to learn more about our global emergency assistance solutions.

About On Call International:
When traveling, every problem is unique–a medical crisis, a political threat, even a common accident such as a missed flight. But every solution starts with customized care that ensures travelers are safe and protected. That’s why for over 25 years, On Call International has provided fully-customized travel risk management and emergency assistance services protecting millions of travelers, their families, and their organizations. Visit and follow us on LinkedIn to learn more.