Topic of the Week: Winter Weather Sucks

I’m probably the only person in sun-soaked Southern California (it’s in the 80s today) who is really concerned about the snowy weather. We’ve been working basically nonstop at Cranky Concierge getting people rebooked since the beginning of the year as the airlines continue to see the south and east pummeled with nasty weather. I’m exhausted, and I haven’t even been on a delayed airplane. Make me feel stupid – let’s hear your winter weather travel horror stories from the last few weeks.

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23 Comments on "Topic of the Week: Winter Weather Sucks"

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Greg W
I was in Atlanta for some work meetings this week. We were supposed to fly out on Wednesday night but the ice-pocalypse caused all those cancellations so we got to spend a night at the Spring Hill Suites right on the train/tram line between the car rental location and the terminal. We thought this would be a nice convenient location to avoid the effects of the snow and ice. We went to the terminal to get some dinner on Wednesday night and the train car intermittently lost power but the train’s momentum kept it going until the next section. We… Read more »

I travel regularly for work through the Midwest. I have been on the road five weeks so far this year, and this week (of all weeks) was the first week this year where I got to and from work on my regularly scheduled flights


Was to fly AUS-DFW-DCA yesterday; stuck in AUS until Saturday. Not terrible, as things go, but shocking how EVERYTHING is full today.

Probably the most annoying: I could have gotten a flight from MIA-DCA or MCO-DCA today. But there was no way to get to Florida from DFW last night–everything was sold out.


I’ll take snow any day of the week over the water bills you guys will soon be paying in sunny California.




We’re expecting record setting high temperatures here in Phoenix. But I remember what it was like experiencing ice storms.

I once flew TWA from Phoenix to Madison, Wisconsin through St. Louis. On the return flight, the weather conditions had gotten so bad in St. Louis (ice storms) that my flight was cancelled. The next day, I arrived at the airport and was routed through Minneapolis/St. Paul. It was so cold (and usually is) in the Twin Cities that all they got was cold and snow, with which they’re used to dealing. I ended up in first class. I didn’t complain.

My only winter weather horror story of the year didn’t involve travel per se, but rather, trying to get to and from work. This was in December during the ice storm that shut Dallas down for a couple of days. My internet crapped out the night before, and naturally TWC would provide no information for when it would be back up (thank goodness we didn’t lose power, at least). The roads weren’t horrible, so I decided I might as well try going to the office so I could get a few things done there. I live pretty close to a… Read more »

Not a travel story but I had a sensor go out on my furnace when it dipped past -10F that night. 24 hours of cold, but at least the fireplace kept things somewhat reasonable.

And nobody beats MSP at keeping things moving during winter weather. Flew out many times in weather much worse than anything the SE got this week.

Leslie in Oregon

In my experience, Fairbanks is very good at that too: I never had a flight delayed much less cancelled during seven winters of frequently flying out of and into its airport.


Traveling to Mia to catch. A cruise, routed sea-ewr-mia. First leg was great, skidded to a halt in ewr. Instead of getting in a huge line at the airport or spending hours on the phone, I hit the internet. To make a long story short(er), we are on Amtrak, heading for pit where we will spend the night and tomorrow fly pit-ord-fll and in theory, be 5 hours early for the cruise.


You are smart to leave early for your cruise. We see a lot of people at the ticket counter who fly out at the last possible minute for cruises. When the flight is delayed, it ruins the whole trip. If you leave the day before, the most you loose is the cost of a hotel for one night and a couple of meals.

I actually had a good Atlanta weather story this week. I was in town Mon / Tues for meetings. Learned Monday morning that my Tuesday night UA flight was cancelled and I was automatically rebooked for Wed morning. Knowing what was coming, we got me on an AA flight Tuesdsay night (all other Tuesday flights on UA were sold out). Thankfully, i have a very smart admin who found me a hotel room at the airport with a 6pm cancellation policy so I had a place to stay (they sold out quickly). During a 2 hour timespan (the time it… Read more »

I work for a tour operator and we send 1000s of passengers weekly to sun spots in the Caribbean and Mexico. Our staff has dark circles under their eyes because they are absolutely exhausted. Our phone lines are completely jammed, everyone is unhappy and these storms have made our lives MISERABLE….Latest rounds of cancellations has some people departing or returning 4 days later than they were originally sheduled President’s week on top of everything simply creates an ugly situation.

Eric in ICT
I came through DEN in early Jan. during the first “Polar Vortex.” Last flight of the day, connecting from PHX to ICT. Aircraft was late getting into PHX, which meant we arrived at the gate in a 0-degree DEN at the time my connection was supposed to leave. Had to run the entire length of the massive B concourse (of course), about had an asthma attack. Got to the gate and it said my flight had left, but — thankfully — it didn’t even board for another hour. Finally got underway after they had to fix the deicing boots and… Read more »

For the benefit of those who are interested in this type of thing – here’s a website that will give you an appreciation of just what is causing the East Coast weather (as well as other locations around the world),33.05,211

This is a a visualization of global weather conditions forecast by supercomputers updated every three hours, and ocean surface current estimates updated every five days

You can rotate and zoom into one specific spot, manipulate, zoom and click on that spot to get wind speed.

The author is listed as Cameron Beccario @cambecc


that’s really cool. And now I’ll send the next 2 hours playing around on that…

Had a trip planned for Hartford last week and moved it to this week due to the weather. Tuesday it was SEA-ATL-BDL. On the flight out of SEA the captain was all excited about the weather and wanted to get everyone on to get to ATL as soon as possible. In the air, I kept receiving emails from Delta that the ATL-BDL segment was being delayed. I was feeling pretty certain that the segment was going to get canceled (as was the later flight to BDL) or the ice would come and cancel the flight. The inbound aircraft finally made… Read more »
John C
My dad called me on December 29 to say he was coming out to visit for the week, but would stay with my sister. On December 30, he calls from the airport to ask me to pick him and his gf up and could they stay with me. Gee, thanks for the advance notice dad. They were supposed to fly home on January 6. The inbound flight was on time and it looked like they’d be able to get back to JFK on the redeye before the storm hit the next day. I dropped them at the airport and was… Read more »

It’s been 86 degrees and sunny all week here in Aruba! Cooked on the BBQ last night. Having trouble keeping the ice from melting. Excuse me, but I need another beer. Cheers, then!


Spare a thought for those employees struggling with this weather. Off schedule operations are a real
burden. Overnights in cities running out of rooms. Traveling in vans on terrible roads, no place to eat
and calls from crew sked, telling you to spend another night in the hotel. Canceled in base so the hotel
is on your dime. They also consider that legal rest, so you may not even get home before your next
series of flights. Wondering when you’ll see home again. Rampers on the ramp, sweating from the waist up and your feet freezing.


I was in the Baggage Service Office Thursday night, no flights in or out all day so pretty quiet. Took a few claims from customers who drove from hubs. Somehow three people who couldn’t get through to reservations got the BSO phone number. I had nothing else to do (except learn to knit from a Youtube video) so I rebooked them. One lady was so happy she said she was going to post the phone number on Facebook. I begged her not to do that. Scared the heck out of me.

Nick Barnard

Heh.. This is an interesting strategy. Perhaps this is a tool to keep in your back pocket on horrible Irrg-Ops. (That is until the bean counters figure out how to add all y’all into the Res phone queue.)

Had a trip planned late Jan – early Feb to see family in Florida. JetBlue cancelled the flight out (HPN – TPA), first blaming it on the weather (this was a day or two after the storm hit), then on mechanical issues. I think the real reason it was cancelled was because as a midweek flight around a holiday, it didn’t have enough paying pax. JetBlue offered to get me from HPN – TPA 2 days later than I had initially booked. Was not going to work for me. I told them to try LGA, and wound out flying out… Read more »