Last Updated on January 30, 2024
It’s been a tough year so far for travelers. I have personally felt the sting with my air travels in January. And it’s only January.
Safety concerns with the Boeing 737 MAX alone have made traveling a challenge with flight cancellations and re-bookings all over the board. Plus winter weather. With more winter storms sure to come, travelers are bracing for impacts on their upcoming trips.
So far in 2024, winter storms have resulted in ground stops at major airports across the country, leading to thousands of delays and cancellations. For many passengers, these harsh conditions have meant losing out on valuable vacation time, if not missing their trip altogether.
Recently, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) released its three-month forecast, warning that winter weather patterns could continue throughout the U.S. through the end of April.
With more winter storms likely to have a significant impact on travel, SquareMouth, the nation’s leading travel insurance marketplace, is offering tips to travelers with upcoming getaways.
Though we can’t change the weather or the safety issues plaguing Boeing, we can take on some additional actions and responsibilities which just may help ease some of the stress and angst with our winter travels.
Squaremouth’s Winter Travel Insurance Tips
Watch the Weather Forecast
Stay informed about weather conditions at your destination and along your route to help anticipate potential travel disruptions.
Allow Extra Travel Time
This is a biggie and one that many travelers do not consider. They figure if it’s normally a 30-minute trip to the airport, they’ll make it to their gate in plenty of time.
However, missing a flight due to traffic on the way to the airport is not covered by travel insurance. Only road closures or being involved in a traffic accident can be covered.
Protect Your Trip
Travel insurance can reimburse your trip expenses if you are forced to cancel due to inclement weather. Most Trip Cancellation plans include coverage for winter storms, hurricanes and other severe weather events. Though it may cost you a little extra (typically between five and ten percent of the total trip), the peace of mind is well worth it.
Get Coverage Early
Another mistake travelers make is not realizing that to be eligible for any travel coverage, you must have bought your policy before the storm was named. It’s like calling your homeowner’s insurance company when a hurricane is on the way!
Get Coverage for Winter Sports
If you’re traveling for a ski or snowboarding vacation, did you know that plans with a Sports & Activities benefit can cover injuries sustained on the slopes and protect your winter gear? Whether you’re a novice or more experienced skier, things can happen and when they do, you’ll be prepared.
Save Emergency Contacts
Whether it’s local emergency services or your travel insurance provider’s 24-Hour Assistance Service line, know who to call if a winter disaster strikes.
And don’t forget to add these emergency contact numbers when you book your airline reservation.
One Last Piece of Advice
From someone who travels a lot – if your flight gets canceled or rescheduled (which happened to my spouse and me four times on our recent roundtrip from San Diego to New York’s LaGuardia), be kind to airport personnel. I know they’re the faces we see on the front lines, but they are not responsible for weather or mechanical issues. Neither are the flight attendants or the pilots. And remember that all these changes affect their lives as well.
If you’re going to choose to fly during this winter period, follow our travel tips and again, be courteous. It might just get you a nice upgrade, some compensation or a couple of free drinks!