Hurricane Isaac aims for Florida this weekend: what you can do

By John Walton, August 23 2012
Hurricane Isaac aims for Florida this weekend: what you can do

Hurricane Isaac is expected to delay and cancel numerous flights across the United States over the weekend and early next week, so now is the time to ensure that you're prepared for a disrupted journey if you're heading to the US.

With Miami a large hub airport, especially for Qantas partner American Airlines, knock-on effects are likely across the United States. You may be flying from Los Angeles to New York, but if your plane's last flight was Miami-LAX then your journey will cop it.

And it's not just flights: rental car companies will often move their vehicles out of the path of a hurricane, and getting the cars in the right place can take some time. We flew into New York a week after Hurricane Irene last year, and cars were still scarce at Newark Airport.

Preparing for potential disruption

We have a few favourite tricks you can use in this kind of situation.

To deal with the flight situation, consider whether this is the time to book a fully flexible ticket instead of the "no changes" version.

Most US airlines with exposure to the area will be granting exemptions to their usual "no changes" tickets: these are known as "change fee waivers". Keep an eye on your airline's Twitter account or website for the latest on whether you can shift your flights around.

Consider making a rental car reservation with more than one company. Since there's no charge simply to make the reservation, you won't be out of pocket, but if they're out of cars then you can walk along to the next desk.

And, of course, our usual advice on how to prepare in advance to deal with travel disruptions you spot on the horizon is still good here.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2012

Total posts 580

I just flew out of MIA yesterday evening and into BOG... It was quite stormy but no delays fortunately. I hope others are as lucky as have been!

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