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5 ways to survive weather delays, cancellations

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Posted at 12:45 PM, Jan 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-04 15:32:42-05

DENVER – Travelers flying in or out of Denver International Airport should prepare for widespread delays and cancellations as a massive winter storm moves into the area.

DIA was already experiencing significant delays Wednesday afternoon. The Flight Aware Misery Map reported more than 80 delays and four cancellations.

Most of those cancellations are Frontier flights. The Denver-based airline canceled more than a dozen flights scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday ahead of the storm that is expected to dump up to 10 inches of snow in the Denver metro area.

Frontier says those passengers can make one itinerary change and that rules and restrictions on standard change fees, advance purchases, day or time applications, blackouts and minimum/maximum stay requirements will be waived.

Other Airlines operating out of DIA have similar policies regarding weather-related cancellations or delays. It is recommended you check the status of your flight before heading out.

Here are five survival strategies, according to ABC News, for when weather grounds your flight:

1. Stay away from the airport. There is very little you can accomplish at the airport that you can't accomplish from the comfort of your hotel room or home. The airport is sure to be filled with frustrated travelers, overwhelmed airline personnel and lines, lines, lines.

2. Don't call your airline unless it is absolutely necessary. You're going to hear lots of people telling you to call your airline to check your flight status. Please don't do this. In the case of a major disruption, you could be on hold for hours. If you simply need to check to see your flight status, there's this thing called the Internet. Use it.

3. Use social media. All the airlines employ a person to monitor their social media accounts, most notably Facebook and Twitter. If you tweet your problem and flight confirmation number (or post it on the airline's Facebook page), you'll very likely get a response. Generally, the airline will ask you for a bit more information about your situation and for information on how to contact you. It'll then take the conversation offline to assist you. Here's a short list of airline twitter handles that may come in handy: For American Airlines: @AmericanAir; Delta Airlines: @DeltaAssist; Frontier Airlines: @FlyFrontier; JetBlue: @JetBlue; Southwest Airlines: @SouthwestAir; United: @United.

4. Keep moving forward. Your flight to Washington, D.C., is canceled and there's little hope you'll get there in anything resembling a reasonable amount of time. But can you get to New York City? Boston? Philadelphia? If you're willing to fly to a neighboring city – and foot the bill for a rental car, bus or train ticket – you'll have more choices. Flexibility is key when you're desperate to get somewhere fast.

5. Do not check your luggage. Once you've checked your bags, your options become very limited. Travel light, and the airlines are going to be better equipped to assist you, whether it's by squeezing you into the very last seat to a neighboring city or finding you a seat on a different airline altogether. They can't, and won't, be nearly as helpful if someone needs to track down your checked luggage.

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