Cancelled Flights On Thanksgiving: Here's Your Plan B (And C, And D)
As you probably already know, there's a storm a-coming, and its name is Gobblegeddon. Well, okay: it's technically Boreas, but that's pretty boring, and it always helps to give the enemy a fun name. Still, today's the day that the Thanksgiving storm is expected to hit the hardest, so buckle up. If you're one of the three million Americans traveling this year for Thanksgiving, you should expect flight cancellations. Luckily, we've got your back if that happens.
1. Cheat Your Way Into Rebooking
Even if you're in line at the customer service desk at the airport, you can still make a call to your airline and see if a representative can rebook your flight for later in the day. If your cancelled flight was supposed to be this morning, you're in luck: you'll have more flights to choose on later in the afternoon and evening.
If you have Internet access on your phone, your iPad, or any other device while you wait in line, so much better. Check the airline's flight to see if you've been rebooked yet, and what other flight options are available.
2. Take to Twitter
It's true: More and more airlines these days are using Twitter as a communications channels with their customers, in particular JetBlue, Southwest, and Delta. And in some occasions, a little bit of Tweeting can get your flight rebooked. This isn't necessarily out of the goodness of their hearts: no company wants negative publicity over Twitter for not responding to their customers' needs.
It's also not a bad idea to use Twitter or other social media channels to see if any kind friends would be willing to lend you their couch for the night. Who said technology wasn't bringing us closer?
3. Ask, and Thou Shalt Receive
While most U.S. air carriers are not required to compensate for your hotel, meals, or other expenses if your domestic flights are cancelled, it never hurts to ask. Good news: if you're heading to Europe, you are definitely guaranteed hotel and meal vouchers.
Otherwise, you can use the app Hotel Tonight to find last-minute hotel deals that won't break your bank.
4. Road Trip
If you can't rebook your flight, don't want to resort to a hotel, and you have a car, going all "Shut Up And Drive" is your Plan C. But be sure to check local weather reports, because the roads could be slippery and traffic accidents have resulted in 14 deaths already.
5. There's Always The Kindness Of Strangers
This is Plan D. This is the plan you take when all else fails. Still, it's a pretty sweet option.
CouchSurfing, the online hospitality exchange website, has facilitated travel and shelter for over 6 million people across the world. Yes, even during Thanksgiving. If your flight is cancelled and you have no place to stay, no money for a hotel, and don't want to be alone for Thanksgiving — CouchSurfing is the place to go.
But isn't it weird to spend Thanksgiving with strangers? Nope, not at all. For proof, read this story that appeared on CouchSurfing's blog last Thanksgiving, about a traveler who discovered the hospitality of strangers wielding pumpkin pie, turkey, and, uh, deviled eggs.
As long as you don't end up having to call the turkey hotline, there's nothing like bonding with strangers over food.
Enjoy the food hangover on Black Friday!