Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to South Florida within the next couple of days. In Miami, Fort Lauderdale and other Florida ports, cruise lines are modifying itineraries in preparation for the storm. In Orlando, Rosen Hotels are offering a reduced rate for displaced South Florida residents. Around the country, those sailing this weekend are watching TV weather people talk about the projected path. A travel delay for any traveler can quickly turn into an unplanned, extended stay, costing thousands of dollars per traveler. Mike Kelly, CEO of leading travel assistance company On Call International, is sharing his top tips for travelers trapped by a serious travel delay.
Stay Informed – Airlines begin preparing days in advance for hurricanes and large storms. If you are scheduled to fly before or after a storm, it is a good idea to check in with the airline carrier (either by phone or the web) a few days before departure for any changes in the itinerary; signing up for email notifications when booking flights are extremely helpful too. If a delay occurs when you are at the airport, stay in the vicinity of the departure kiosk as this is where flight updates are likely to be found. “I recommend turning to social media for up-to-date news and information. Twitter is a great resource for breaking news. Travelers can follow their airlines (@UnitedAirlines, etc.) as well as On Call International, at @OnCallIntl and other resources like CNN (@cnnbrk), the Weather Channel (@weatherchannel), and The New York Times (@nytimes)” states Kelly.
Stay Prepared – Remaining “in the know” is the key to navigating any disaster. With On Call’s pre-trip destination and health information services, available for travelers, On Call is prepared to evacuate members to safety or to appropriate medical care. On Call also offers support to members who find themselves trapped due to delays and will assist in switching flights and locating accommodations. Additional services include: translation assistance, lost luggage assistance, and travel document replacement.
Stay A Step Ahead – Emergencies are far too common these days. With travel, medical and security assistance services, travelers’ trips can be cut short instantly. When a disaster strikes, travelers are already a step ahead – they can simply call On Call’s Global Response Center, where On Call’s 24/7/365 team of Assistance Coordinators can help coordinate any arrangements – from new hotel accommodations and flight arrangements to medical assistance and much more.
Some great Hurricane sources you’ll want to keep track of….
Flickr photo by neilalderney123