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Travel & Holiday

See what’s on the horizon

Plan ahead for snowstorms and other possible travel woes
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - December 8, 2010
By: Sheila Lim
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See what’s on the horizon

Travel smart
Planeloads of Singaporeans usually fly away on vacation during the year-end due to the long school break and festive holidays. As this period coincides with the winter season in temperate countries in the north, it would be wise for those heading there to be prepared for typical wintertime travel woes.

Update yourself
Bad weather and airline workers’ strikes used to be the most common causes of airline passengers getting stranded at the airport. These days, we can add a few more reasons to the list, like terrorist threats, political unrest, aircraft engine failure and volcanic eruptions!

Do scan the media for news updates and weather forecasts, particularly for the places you’ll be travelling to/in. If you’ve done so lately, you would know that winter has arrived early in various parts of the USA and Europe this year. If you are heading for these continents, there's no excuse not to know at least a couple days ahead of departure time whether your flight might be affected.

Dial your way out
It’s wiser not to leave home without your mobile phone, which has become something of a wonder travel tool! It’ll be especially invaluable if you are stuck in an airport without easy Internet access. With it, you can better your chances of finding proper accommodation rather than having to bunk at the airport during a prolonged flight delay. 

Before your trip, pre-programme vital contact numbers of parties that could get you out of sticky situations, such as those of your airline (use the frequent-flier programme phone number if you belong to such a club as the service should be better), your travel agents, car rental companies, preferred booking websites or hotels near the airport (try looking for hotels that offer airport shuttle services so you can count on a ride without too much trouble or expense).

Have contingency plans
Know what other options are available to you if there’s a likelihood of being stranded. If the situation looks bleak or seems to be worsening, at least you can take alternative flights on other airlines (pre-programme their numbers into your phone as well) within a few hours of your original flight time and avoid being stranded indefinitely. Even though you ultimately have to get your original airline to authorise the transfer, you'll at least be able to approach the desk armed with the relevant information and perhaps even a tentative reservation on the other airline.

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