Weather makes travel adventurous

When I travelled a fair bit, I always worried about doing so in November and March while going between Fort Frances and Toronto.
The rest of the year was clear sailing. But fog and freezing rain seemed most problematic during those two months, and more than once resulted in delays or cancellations.
In the summer months, you might be held up for a short period of time for a heavy rainstorm.
Travelling the highways between here and Winnipeg or Thunder Bay in the winter months often can be slow because of falling snow and snow build-up. Sometimes we get enough snow that roads have to be closed.
Weather can make travel adventurous.
I hadn’t thought about the hazards and issues associated with travelling in some time—until this past couple of weeks as my wife travelled to and from Florida.
All winter long, we’ve watched on TV as the eastern United States, from Maine down to the Carolinas, received unexpected large snowfalls. In some cases, snowfalls were occurring in totally unexpected areas.
This past Sunday, on returning home, our airline had my wife and I routed through New York. Unfortunately, due to the weather, our flight ended up being diverted to Hartford, Conn.
And our plane was not the only one to find a convenient port in Hartford.
Across the south, in Texas, Louisiana, and through to Georgia, a cold winter chill brought snow and freezing rain to that section of the U.S. The weather was unprecedented for this time of year.
In Hartford, the snowbanks at the airport were almost four feet high.
Those unexpected early March storms caused havoc with the airlines. Thousands of flights were cancelled and computer systems to re-book travellers were overwhelmed.
Fortunately, we discovered that the gate next to ours in Hartford had flights going directly to Minneapolis. It only took Delta an hour to change our tickets as the company’s computer system was so overloaded with requests for flight changes.
I must commend the person who looked after us in Hartford for her patience and perseverance in getting us re-booked.
Front-line staffs come under a huge amount of stress when weather-related problems strike airlines. They end up having to deal with frustrated travellers seeking to get to their destinations.
And when flights get cancelled, it is not just a single plane with 150 people who are stranded—thousands end up being stranded and all want immediate attention.
At one time when flights were cancelled, or your plane was routed to a different city, the airline would find you accommodations. Not so today. With weather-related flight cancellations, you are on your own hook to find accommodations.
With the speed of a cellphone, however, you quickly can find nearby accommodations.
Once flights are cancelled, the airlines have planes in all the wrong places. They have to start by getting the aircraft to the locations they are needed.
The airlines also have the issue of trying to accommodate all the stranded passengers.
We were fortunate. Many in our area were stranded for a full day and their travel was postponed until Monday.
But the airlines did get them home. As with us, we may not have arrived on time.

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