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  • Flight Cancellations Present a Challenge for Travelers

    There have been thousands of flight cancellations in the past few weeks due to unexpected weather and staffing shortages caused by an outbreak of the Omicron variant. These cancellations are causing a massive headache for those trying to get out and travel, and unfortunately, it seems like this trend could continue in the upcoming weeks. People are losing money, are having to find new ways to get to their destination, and are even having to delay or cancel their trip altogether. If you have an upcoming trip, it’s crucial that you take the proper precautions so that you’re prepared if your flight ends up getting canceled.

    Why Are Flights Being Canceled?

    Many flights have recently been canceled due to two main reasons – the Omicron variant and unpredictable winter weather conditions. The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has led to many people, including airline employees, to become sick. This has led to many people calling into work and staying home while recovering from their illness. This means that airlines don’t have an apt amount of employees needed to run their regular flight routes. Furthermore, there has been a lot of bad winter weather lately. This has led to some flights not being able to take off due to inclement weather.

    How Many Flights Have Been Canceled?

    Thousands of flights were canceled last week due to the Omicron variant and poor weather conditions. According to FlightAware, more than 15,000 flights within, into, or out of the United States were canceled from December 31, 2021, to January 6, 2022. Unfortunately, the number of flight cancellations doesn’t seem to be slowing down. On January 6, 2022, there were more than 2,000 canceled flights within, into, or out of the United States, with 1,500 more flights expected to be canceled on Friday, January 7th. If the weather becomes less harsh and the spread of the Omicron variant slows, hopefully, we will see fewer flight cancellations.

    What Can I Do if my Flight Gets Canceled?

    Your first instinct may be to panic if your flight gets canceled. But this is precisely what you shouldn’t do. Instead, take a deep breath, and weigh out your options. Some things that you can do include:

    • Find the Next Available Flight: Talk to the airline and figure out when the next available flight is to your destination.
    • Find an Alternative Form of Transportation: If you can’t find a flight that fits your needs, consider driving or see if a train can take you to your destination.
    • Get a Refund: If all else fails, ask your airline for a refund. At the very least, you’ll be able to get the money for your flight back.

    What Precautions Can I Take Ahead of Time?

    There are some things that you can do before your trip to cover your bases. Our first tip (and maybe our most important) is to take out travel insurance. Yes, travel insurance costs a little extra, but it will give you peace of mind if your flight gets canceled. Another thing that you can do is to keep an eye on the weather of your departure city and your destination city. If it looks like there may be a massive storm coming that could hinder your plans, consider changing your flight to a day earlier or later to avoid any cancellations. 

    When is the Best Time to Fly to Avoid Cancellations or Delays?

    The best time of the day to fly is in the morning. As the day goes on, there is more potential for flights to get canceled or delayed, so try to fly as early as possible in the day. If you are planning a vacation, your best option (if possible) is to go during spring, summer, or fall. The worst weather tends to come during the winter months, and snow is a huge cause of flight cancellations. 

    Where Can I Get a Passport For My Next Trip?

    Swift Passport Services can help you get a passport for your upcoming trip. We can assist you with obtaining a passport renewal or a new passport. If you need a passport in a hurry, we suggest using our 7-10 business day service. Please note that this service is offered on a first-come-first-serve basis, and you should call ahead at 312-929-2105 to reserve your spot. If you aren’t in a hurry, you can use our 5-7 week passport renewal service. As always, if you have any other questions regarding obtaining a passport, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to help! No matter where you plan on traveling, we’ll get you there!

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