Because it happens way too frequently, we’re often posting horror stories of air travelers being cooped up in a plane for hours on the tarmac waiting for weather to clear, a runway to open or the stars to align. And even though there will soon be penalties for planes that make passengers idle too long on the tarmac, it’s still going to happen. And just in case it happens to you, the folks over at Jaunted have prepared these 5 tips for surving the ordeal with a minimum of pain.
5. Always pack a little food in your carry-on
Jaunted says that, especially when you know there’s a high risk for delay, packing some extra snacks will “not only save you, but if you share, you’ll quickly breed goodwill in a stressful situation and find sympathetic fellow passengers.”
4. Have a pen
“You can make notes about rearranged travel plans… do the crosswords in the back of the in-flight magazine… draft your complaint letter… write “HELP” really large on a piece of paper and hold it up to the window by your seat, hoping people in the terminal see it.”
3. Remain calm
Stranded planes are a pressure cooker for anxiety, so it’s probably best if you keep your cool. Says Jaunted, “expressing frustrations calmly and rationally to a flight attendant could yield the bag of pretzels you desire to feed your hungry child.”
2. Tweet, tweet, tweet
While you still have battery power on your phone, let the world know what’s going on. It would probably be a good idea to know the Twitter accounts for the airline you’re traveling on, so you can (calmly… see above) let them know as the situation worsens. It also creates a searchable, public record of the situation in case the airport disputes passengers’ complaints.
1. Have all of your travel information and airline phone numbers handy
The most constructive way to spend that time stuck in the flying tin can is A) voicing your complaint to the airline’s customer service people and B) alerting others — car rental, hotels, connecting airlines, friends who are supposed to pick you up — know that you might need to alter your plans.
Any other suggestions? What did Jaunted leave off the list?