It is the coldest time of the year in some parts of the globe and while winter might be the best season to travel, it is also the most dangerous one. According to an Associated Press report released in February 2014, more than 75,000 U.S. domestic flights were cancelled in December 2013. That comprises 5.5 percent of the 1.35 million flights set during that period, the worst in the last 25 years in aviation history.
Winter air travel presents greater risks as opposed to when you are travelling on clear skies. When the temperature drops, the plane’s engine works doubly hard to maintain cabin pressure, which in turn consumes more fuel. Night time is longer during winter, so expect that daylight limits are earlier than usual. Visibility is poorer during the colder months, which forces airlines to cancel flights at the nick of time even at the slightest hint of weather disturbance.
Booking Flights During Winter
Always book trips scheduled in the morning. Flights are not likely to get cancelled in the morning except for high emergency cases such as engine problems. The rate of human and mechanical errors is lesser during the early trips too.
If you think that the chance of flight cancellation or suspension is higher on the day you are going to travel, contact your airline company as soon as possible. In the event of cancellation, rebook your flight immediately as passengers will race to grab the next available flight. Keep yourself updated and be aware of emergency contact numbers of nearest hospitals or hotels. Know your rights as a passenger such as free rebooking, accommodations, and food for mandatory flight cancellations.
If the flight is cancelled and you are travelling for work, you can arrange for compensation per day depending on the value declared to the airline company. However, the process takes a couple of days to a few weeks. Inquire about travel insurance with medical conditions especially if you have chronic health problem such as vertigo, angina and hypertension.
Packing for Winter Travel
Over packing is a typical travel conundrum during the winter. Winter clothing is heavier but you can still fit your stuff in a small luggage. Instead of bringing extra winter jackets, opt for a three-season jacket to save extra space. Do not skimp on socks, but you can always re-use shirts and pants since you will not be perspiring a lot due to the cold weather.
Wear the heaviest clothes you can find during your travel day. Use compression bags when packing sweaters or blazers, and bring accessories sparingly. Master the art of layering so you do not need to bring excess gears and clothing.
Staying Safe and Healthy on Your Winter Trips
Headaches are common during cold months but cases like these are usually more than skin deep. People at risk of hypertension and diabetes may experience shivering and blurring of vision, although adverse effects cannot be solely attributed to the weather. If you are travelling to seek medical treatment overseas, it is best to consult a reputable insurance company offering travel insurance with medical conditions so you are fully covered.