Thought of the Day: When Your Flight Gets Canceled

So I was supposed to fly out to DC this morning for FinCon, but a bunch of flights in and out of Chicago were canceled due to weather, including my own.

The online system found another flight for me that would leave in the afternoon, connect through Charlotte, and arrive in DC at 8 p.m., which… um… I know that Charlotte is just outside of Hurricane Dorian’s path, but it’s still not the direction I’d like to be flying this evening. Plus, some flights in and out of Charlotte have already been canceled and/or delayed, which could have ripple effects on my flights and connections.

I had the option to change my flights myself through the American Airlines app, so I looked at what was available and chose a different afternoon flight connecting through Chicago and arriving in DC at 8.

But again… I know how this works. When morning flights are canceled, afternoon flights get delayed, and the odds of my arriving in DC at, like, midnight and/or spending the night in Chicago were decent, if not high.

And then I was like “well, if I left on Wednesday morning instead I’d still make it to FinCon before it officially got started, plus I’d get an entire uninterrupted workday today instead of trying to squeeze in work between seminars tomorrow, plus I’d get to sleep in my own bed tonight and go to bed at a reasonable hour instead of not knowing where I’d be sleeping or when, plus I could make my usual BodyPump class this afternoon.”

I had to call American Airlines customer service to get the flight changed to Wednesday (the app wouldn’t let me do it), but they had no problem making the change for free.

So here are my thoughts for the day!

  1. If your morning flight gets canceled and your schedule/commitments/finances are flexible, pick tomorrow’s morning flight over today’s evening one. (Yes, maybe you’re a night owl who doesn’t mind late flights, and yes, maybe you don’t want to pay for another night in a hotel if you’re making this decision on the return leg—but you might end up spending another night in a hotel anyway, if the delays continue to cascade.)
  2. An uninterrupted day of work is worth much more than an interrupted one. If they had told me it would cost $200 to switch my flight to Wednesday, I would have paid it—I had already made that decision before I made the call. (Of course, that’s because it would be a tax-deductible business expense in my case, and I need to rack up a few more of those before the end of the year. But the last time one of my flights got canceled I ended up paying more than $200 for the hotel room that I had to book late at night after staring at flight delays all afternoon, soooooooooo it would have been totally worth it. For me.)

So back to work for me, and back to the airport tomorrow! ❤️

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