Business Travel Tips to Help Weather the Storm
Picture this: You’re a business traveler in Dallas when a spring snowstorm strikes back home in Minneapolis, closing Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. What do you do? How do you get home quickly and safely?
This happened recently to Wade, a commercial banker in Minneapolis, who got stranded at Dallas-Fort Worth International following a sudden Minnesota spring storm that dumped over a foot of snow in parts of the Midwest.
After Wade’s flight got cancelled, it looked like he would be stranded in Texas, potentially missing his daughter’s 7th birthday the next day. Wade said he felt alone and didn’t know what to do. Out of desperation, Wade rebooked on the next flight to Chicago, not knowing what he would do once he got to the Windy City. While stranded in the airport, he found a fellow traveler driving to Minnesota and, despite being concerned for his own safety, hitched a ride with a stranger back to Minneapolis.
“I wasn’t going to wait around for the storm to stop back home,” he said. “I grabbed a flight to Chicago and had no idea what I was going to do next. I wish I would’ve known what to do or had somebody to help me figure it out.”
Wade’s story underscores one of the key advantages of using a managed business travel partner when facing delays and cancellations. A managed travel partner can provide 24/7 travel solutions and monitoring and can save you time, money and stress. If you’re using a trip disruption monitoring service, a dedicated support team can immediately start working on your behalf to rebook you and get you home as quickly as possible.
If you’re not using a managed travel partner, here are some business travel tips to help you weather storms on your own.
Be a travel expert
If a storm strands you somewhere while you’re traveling for business, you need to be a travel expert if you’re going to wing it. Be creative and look for ways to get yourself closer to home. Fortunately for Wade, he was experienced enough to come up with an on-the-spot plan to get himself home. Not everybody can pull that off and if you don’t feel like a travel expert, it pays to have an experienced managed travel partner in your corner.
Plan ahead, watch the forecast
This won’t help business travelers who are already in the thick of it, but if you’re planning on traveling, keep an eye on the weather. If it looks like you’re in for some bad weather — or there could be some waiting for you at home — be proactive and try to adjust your travel plans. It’s a lot easier to deal with delays and cancellations if you’re expecting them and are ready to act. A managed travel partner can monitor potential delays, disruptions and cancellations and can act quickly on your behalf to help you solve an issue efficiently and get you home safely. An added advantage: You also don’t have to fight for time with an airline representative.
Take matters into your own hands
While safety is crucial for business travelers, sometimes it pays to do things yourself. If your flight gets delayed or altogether cancelled, consider seeking another form of transportation like Wade. If your airport is getting backed up with delays, you could rent a car and drive to another nearby city or airport — or try to make the entire trip back home, if the roads are safe. Believe it or not, America does still have a rail system, so you could also grab a train and spend the trip home working in old-fashioned comfort.
Keep calm and grab a hotel room
If you’re in no rush to get home, sometimes the best (and safest) thing thing you can do is wait. Instead of suffering through long lines and crowds at an airport, grab a room at a nearby hotel and wait out the storm. If you’ve got your phone and laptop, a nimble business traveler can turn any Marriott into a home office and start working remotely, as long as your schedule allows. Remember: If you’re going to choose to wait, be sure to talk to the airline about getting a full refund or getting a travel voucher.
Discover more business travel tips
CWT is here to help small, growing businesses keep travel costs down and help business travelers navigate their work trips safely and easily. We want our clients to stand out from the competition and be prepared for any situation. A managed travel partner could solve many of the problems outlined above.
For more information on managed travel, Contact CWT Business Travel Solutions.