Bowing to a wintry mix of heavy snow, ice and wicked winds across much of the country, airlines are canceling thousands of flights through the weekend.
Many travelers will have to put their travel plans on hold. With airlines now giving more notice on cancellations, many travelers won't even venture to the airport.
But if your flight is canceled, and you are stuck at the airport, here are some tips:
Get in line to speak to a customer service representative, but also call the airline directly. If the phone lines are jammed, try the airline's overseas numbers. You'll pay long-distance rates but might not have to wait. Finally, consider sending a tweet to the airline.
There are more to airline lounges than free drinks and lights snacks. Airlines often staff them with some of their best — and friendliest — ticket agents. The lines are shorter and these agents are sometimes able to find empty seats. So consider buying a one-day pass. It typically costs $50, but discounts can sometimes be found online.
Use apps like HotelTonight and Priceline to find last-minute discounts for that night. Many of the rooms are nonrefundable when booked, so lock in only once you are stuck.