So, if you ever find yourself in this situation, what do you do? Here are some tips:
- Do some research before you even leave the house. I'd even recommend writing down some possible connections you can use if your flight is cancelled. That way you're not scrambling if your flight (or connecting flight) is cancelled.
- Have necessary phone numbers at your disposal. If you need to get booked on another flight - you may need to call the airline. It can't hurt to have the number to each major airline programmed into your phone.
- Set up alerts on your phone. That way you'll know ASAP if your flight is delayed or cancelled.
- Social media is your friend. Especially Twitter. I'd be willing to bet every major airline has a Twitter account. Use that to your advantage. For example, if you are going to miss a connection - tweet the airline. I've heard stories about how this can work wonders. The airline's social media team will already be looking for a connection for you before you are even off the plane.
- Your carry-on can be a life saver. If possible, don't check a bag at all. If you must, make sure you pack toiletries, extra clothes, and a jacket or warm sweater in a carry-on (even if you're coming from a place like Miami).
- Use a credit card that has travel insurance. My Chase Sapphire Preferred card has trip cancellation and trip interruption protection. As long as I purchase my tickets with that card, I can get reimbursed if the severe weather interrupts my trip.
- Be patient! Yes, cancellations are annoying for passengers. But they're also annoying for airlines and their workers. Don't forget - everyone is in the same boat (or in this case - "plane"). Don't lose your cool. It won't help.
It's never fun to be stranded in a place you may not know very well. Especially if it will cost you money you never expected to spend. Unfortunately, if you fly, that's a risk you're taking.
A little due diligence on your part can go a long way. Hopefully these tips help. Good luck and happy travels!