The hectic holiday travel season is officially underway. While the weather has been relatively calm for smooth travel, you can never be sure with Chicago’s fickle winter.
Luckily for you, travel over Christmas and New Year’s tends to spread out over many days, so there are multiple peaks during the last few weeks of December rather than one day like the Thanksgiving holiday. If your flight gets delayed or even canceled, there is a greater guarantee you’ll still make it out.
However, there are still mishaps—think about the Southwest Airlines debacle over Christmas last year. More than 2 million travelers were stranded, and Southwest will have to pay $140 million for the melton. As we say, it’s better to be overprepared than overconfident. Here are our tips for traveling over the holidays:
Traveling at O’Hare, Midway Airports
Check the weather beforehand. A dense fog coated the Chicago area on Christmas Eve, leaving hundreds of flights canceled or delayed late Saturday and early Sunday. It is always better to have a backup so you’re not left stranded.
Arrive extra early. As with any peak travel time, you should plan for long lines. If traveling internationally, you should also allow extra time for paperwork, like checking test results and vaccination records.
Join an airline loyalty program. This is the best method if you want your airline loyalty or maximize airline access. Many airlines have frequent-flyer programs designed to encourage airline customers to enroll in the program to accumulate points.