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Stranded Traveler Survival Stories

Has your 2010 trip been extended through 2011? Have you ever reserved a night on a couch in Terminal Two? The combination of peak travel crowds and foul weather have led to many travelers being stranded this holiday season. From the Fodor’s community, here are some ways to help cope.

Share your stories and tips on the Air Travel Forum or in the comments below.


Fodorite ackislander knows the value of booking through a person: “Weather delays are one of the reasons many businesses still use travel agents. They can quickly rebook you without your having to stand in line and can’t reach the airline, although of course they do not have any magic access to flights . . .”

And a reminder of what to pack from atravelynn: “Having all #s you might need . . . along with that indespensible carryon with a day’s change of attire or at least a change of underwear.”

J62 learned from delays both ways on a recent trip: “Just a couple of weeks ago I had weather delays in Europe. On my way there I had a 10hr delay and spent a good part of that time waiting in line to rebook. On the way home I applied the earlier lessons. Rather than wait around the airport for a day in a futile attempt to get on the overbooked next flight I got a confirmed seat for the following day and got out of the airport.”

Also from member ackislander, a lodging tip for when there are available rooms: “Airlines in the US are not obliged to do anything for you, but once you are rebooked ask for a “distress rate” voucher for a hotel until your new departure date. You will have to pay, but you will pay the crew rate which is usually in the $40-50 range, and you may get a food voucher if you ask nicely or are missing a connection.”

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To end on a positive note, NoFlyZone notes that delays aren’t always bad: “Not for weather, but twice I’ve been, uh, stuck. Once in Singapore for 3 days because of a schedule change. Once in Seychelles for 4 days because of a mechanical with the aircraft in Europe. Loved it! Was in no hurry to get home and enjoyed the extra time.”

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