Advice From Fellow Travelers
Prepare to spend the night. Whether checking bags for a weeklong vacation or making a day trip with nothing more than a briefcase, it's a good idea to carry on a toothbrush, change of clothes, medicines, and other essentials in case you get stuck overnight. And if it looks like you won't be flying out till the next morning, don't wait for the airline to arrange a hotelthey rarely do that anymore. Instead, use your cellphone to book a nearby hotel room before all the other stranded travelers beat you to it.
Think of other ways to beat the hordes, too. "If the airline says they're ordering buses to take you to another airportconsider renting a car. The airlines aren't bus companies, and it can take hours to round up buses for passengers. The best bet here is to ask some fellow passengers if they want to split the cost of a car rental." David Olenzak
Get to know the agents. If you travel frequently from the same place, make a point of befriending the workers at the airport. Consolidating your travel on one carrier will help your frequent flier miles add up faster, but you'll also become a familiarand hopefully a friendlyface to the people behind the counter. That can pay off in a pinch. "I flirted for months with the security agent, and when my driver's license expired, he never noticed. Flirting works." Jaye Espy, Jackson, Miss.
Consider alternatives. "An option that works for me: Don't fly." Glenn Showalter, Seattle