web Musings of The Global Traveller

Friday, August 08, 2008

Waiting out weather situation

Once again I'm sitting in an airport lounge waiting out an unfolding weather situation. There are a number of possibilities for my trip today.

1) Flights are delayed (currently 90 minutes delay for the first of my 4 flights and lengthening) but I fly as planned.
2) I fly part of the trip as booked and then switch to other flights/airlines - perhaps unlikely as I have no status on this particular airline.
3) I fly part of the trip and then get stuck overnight - possible depending on whether the snow and ice at transit and destination airports clears.
4) The trip gets cancelled.

Fortunately I have some tools to help me. As I noticed yesterday that the weather forecast was not great for today (although it actually is worse than forecast currently), I brought more stuff with me than I normally would - just in case I get stuck somewhere. However, I just noticed my cell phone is running low on battery. I should have brought my charger with me - doh.

Despite not having status on the airline I'm flying, I have access to lounges at a couple of the airports I will (I hope) visit today, thanks to status I have with the airline running those lounges. I'm making good use of the lounge by checking my options on the computer and working out various contingencies.

I'm checking out several websites for information. The airline website has arrival and departure information, as well as schedules. This information is partly updated but flow on delays are not being recorded. From the schedules I can work this out myself by figuring out where each aircraft goes next. The websites of the airports - the one I'm currently at, the transit airport and destination airport - help me by showing general delays and will give the first warning if the airport actually closes. Two of these airport websites are not very good at updating, so I am also checking out flightstats and using the airport and flight status tools. I also have an official weather website up which is updated hourly with weather conditions including radar - this helps me predict impacts for later in the day. Lastly, I have a page that links to various online weather stations for current conditions updated more frequently than the official weather website.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out. Wish me luck.

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