How to Survive Being Stranded at the Airport

by Teresa Bitler

How to Survive Being Stranded at the Airport

by Teresa Bitler

Whether you’ve been waylaid by a storm, volcanic ash, or some other major event, getting stranded at the airport is never fun. However, these five tips will help you make the most of a bad situation.

Whether you’ve been waylaid by a storm, volcanic ash, or some other major event, getting stranded at the airport is never fun. However, these five tips will help you make the most of a bad situation.

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Prepare Before You Fly

Don’t get caught unprepared next time your flight gets canceled. Pack all of your medications in your carry-on luggage (along with enough for a few extra days), and bring your wallet, cell phone, snacks, books, and devices to keep you entertained. You should also consider packing an extra charger, as well -- plus any essentials that the airport might not have. 

Read more: 7 Steps to Take Before Canceling or Rescheduling Travel During the Coronavirus

Don’t get caught unprepared next time your flight gets canceled. Pack all of your medications in your carry-on luggage (along with enough for a few extra days), and bring your wallet, cell phone, snacks, books, and devices to keep you entertained. You should also consider packing an extra charger, as well -- plus any essentials that the airport might not have.

Read more: 7 Steps to Take Before Canceling or Rescheduling Travel During the Coronavirus

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Bring Cash When You Travel

Even if you don’t normally carry cash, do so when you fly. It doesn't have to be a lot -- just enough to tip the person who carries your luggage or to pay for a cab. At the very least, make sure you have a debit or credit card for booking a hotel room, purchasing a meal, or renting a car. Tip: Save all of your receipts. If the airline is held responsible for the canceled flight, you may be able to claim a refund for your expenses. 

Even if you don’t normally carry cash, do so when you fly. It doesn't have to be a lot -- just enough to tip the person who carries your luggage or to pay for a cab. At the very least, make sure you have a debit or credit card for booking a hotel room, purchasing a meal, or renting a car. Tip: Save all of your receipts. If the airline is held responsible for the canceled flight, you may be able to claim a refund for your expenses. 

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Book a Hotel ASAP

The minute you suspect your flight will be canceled, start shopping for a hotel. Rooms tend to sell out fast -- especially during mass cancellations. It's also important to note that food and lodging is typically cheaper once you get away from the immediate vicinity of the airport, so don't limit yourself when it comes to your hotel search. Also, when you book, ask if you can add extra nights just in case you need them. That way, you can lock in the same rate as the night before.

Read more: How the Travel Industry is Making it Easier to Book Trips Right Now

The minute you suspect your flight will be canceled, start shopping for a hotel. Rooms tend to sell out fast -- especially during mass cancellations. It's also important to note that food and lodging is typically cheaper once you get away from the immediate vicinity of the airport, so don't limit yourself when it comes to your hotel search. Also, when you book, ask if you can add extra nights just in case you need them. That way, you can lock in the same rate as the night before.

Read more: How the Travel Industry is Making it Easier to Book Trips Right Now

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Be Persistent With Sold-Out Flights

If you are trying to find an alternative flight, don’t give up because the one you want is sold out. Keep checking! Often times, when the weather gets bad, so many flights are delayed and canceled that people often miss their connections, which means you may have a better chance of scoring a seat.

Read more: 4 Survival Tips for Sleeping at the Airport

If you are trying to find an alternative flight, don’t give up because the one you want is sold out. Keep checking! Often times, when the weather gets bad, so many flights are delayed and canceled that people often miss their connections, which means you may have a better chance of scoring a seat.

Read more: 4 Survival Tips for Sleeping at the Airport

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Chill Out

When there's nothing to do but wait, take advantage of the airport’s amenities. Some even have amazing features like museums, yoga rooms, play areas, and art galleries -- so don't be afraid to explore! 

When there's nothing to do but wait, take advantage of the airport’s amenities. Some even have amazing features like museums, yoga rooms, play areas, and art galleries -- so don't be afraid to explore! 

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