You’ve done everything possible to prepare yourself to travel to Central Asia. Your passport is up to date, your visas are signed and stamped, and your bags are packed. What could go wrong? As we know, some of our best memories of travel come from the unexpected surprises that occur; whether it’s a cab driver who gets lost, stopping at random pond to swim, or making a new friend. However, there are some events that you can prevent from overtaking you, in particular the weather. While we can’t control the weather, there are some things you can do to help you minimize the effects it has on a schedule and get you back on track.
Before we move forward with our helpful suggestions, be assured that Five Stans Adventure will wait for you no matter the length of your delay. While we do everything we can to follow your flight online, it’s always helpful to inform us when you expect to arrive. After all, we want to be ready to treat you like royalty when you get here!
When bad weather forces airlines to rearrange their schedules, ticket cancellation fees will be waived. If you anticipate that the weather will force a change, proactively reschedule your flight before or after the storm is supposed to occur. If you are unable to secure a ticket(s), check your airline’s website for seat openings often as things can change very quickly during this time.
2. Stay Informed
If your flight is scheduled two days before or after a storm, check its status on the airline’s website; while you’re there sign-up for flight alerts, if possible. Most – if not all – airlines post their latest flight information on Facebook, while many others resort to Twitter to keep their customers updated. There are various apps at your disposal, so do your research to learn which one is appropriate for your needs.
3. Rescheduling Strategies
If you gambled that your flight would depart on time only to learn that it was cancelled while you’re at the airport, you need to have a “Plan B” in place. While your first reaction will be to go to the ticket counter, you could get faster service by calling the airline on the phone (while simultaneously waiting in line). Others have reported some success by sending a direct message to the airline’s Twitter account for support. If these options don’t produce the results you’d prefer, you might be interested setting up “camp” in the airport’s passenger lounge and work with the ticket agent from there.
4. Getting a Hotel Room Quickly
During my travels I’ve seen countless people stake a claim to a waiting room bench. Some of them may not have had – or wanted – to spend the money to get a room, but you don’t have to exercise this unappealing option. To prepare yourself for a hotel search, assemble a list of those that are located close to the airport before you leave home. Having the phone numbers handy will save you time instead of going online for the necessary information. Plus, by calling them directly you’ll have a better opportunity to learn of availability and cost – something they won’t do on their website. You’ll be one step ahead of the other passengers scrambling for a room!
If you were fortunate to reserve a room, but you were able to get on an earlier than anticipated flight, most hotels will waive the cancellation fee. The assumption is that the hotel will have a list of customers waiting to take the room, but don’t be surprised if you are forced to pay a penalty fee if their list is short.
5. You Get What You Pay For
Like most travelers, we’re always looking to secure the best price for our plane tickets. After all, it’s one of the most expensive components to traveling and I don’t blame you for looking for a great deal. However, keep in mind that if Mother Nature forces a delay in your flight you will be treated according to the type of ticket you bought. For those who bought their tickets directly from the airline, booked through a trustworthy travel agency, or are a frequent flyer, your request will prioritized accordingly. For those who looked to save a few dollars by booking via 3rd party online travel agency be prepared to accept slower service and a lower prioritization.
Greg has lived and worked in Central Asia since 1997. His hands-on understanding of the people, culture, and tourist destinations provides our clients the opportunity to feel comfortable knowing that they are in good hands. His travels throughout Central Asia have given him the opportunity to interact with many professionals in the tourism industry that enables him to providing the highest quality of services anywhere in the world.