Home TIPS Chicago IL: What To Do When Busy Airports Shut Down
Chicago IL: What To Do When Busy Airports Shut Down PDF Print E-mail

It happened again at O’Hare and Midway recently with reports that a suicidal man set a fire. Results: More than a 1,700 flights were canceled or delayed. For traveling seniors, the natural first reactions are confusion, frustration and some creative cursing.

For the experienced flyer, cancellations and delays are expected. They'll happen again, especially with winter adding to other reasons for snafu situations. Beyond the negatives, there are positive ways to make the wait more bearable. For what they’re worth, here are a few suggestions:

1. Always fly with sleep gear: In your carry-on, have a fold-up sheet/blanket, small blow-up pillow and eye mask. If you intend to stay awake, also have the latest compact, info-loaded electronic cellphone/radio/video gizmo to help pass the hours. 2. Find a comfy spot: The long airport metal seats, with barriers every 30 inches to prevent relaxing flat must have been designed by the Marquis de Sade. If your wait will be hours, try to find an isolated hallway or bench where you can stretch out comfy and safely.

3. Keep in constant touch with check-in desk: When you first heard it, the airport delay may have been announced to last hours. Don’t isolate yourself from info sources, so that if conditions change, you won’t miss the rescheduled flight.

4. Cool it: Proverbs say a soft answer turneth away wrath. Always realize airline employees are trying to get you to your destination. Yelling at them gets you nowhere, but a cooperative attitude could put you aboard an alternative flight.

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