How should I reschedule my flight around Hurricane Irene?
August 25, 2011 11:25 AM   Subscribe

IreneFilter: help me reschedule my air travel plans from DC to Reno on Sunday morning.

I'm due to travel from Washington, D.C. (Reagan National Airport) to Reno Nevada at 8:30 AM on Sunday. This timing seems to be smack dab in the middle of Hurricane Irene's projected path over the area. I absolutely must be in Reno by Sunday evening or very early Monday morning. Am I better off rescheduling for Saturday afternoon (around 5pm, not preferred, due to needing more time to pack) or for Sunday afternoon (5pm, when the storm should have passed)?

Factors to consider: when the storm will be impacting DC, desire to not leave on Saturday, potential backups in the air travel system Sunday afternoon. I know there are a lot of moving variables here, particularly the forecast, but I appreciate your full input and advice. Thanks!
posted by awesomebrad to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
I would try to get out ahead of the storm - otherwise you risk being heavily delayed by the backup from all the canceled flights in the morning. Saturday is your best bet.
posted by bedhead at 11:31 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I know you said you don't want to leave on Saturday, but if at all possible I would leave early. Due to a number of factors -- airlines have cut flights/are flying fuller planes, the new 3-hr tarmac rule has caused them to do more preemptive cancellations, reverberations through the system -- there's a big probability for post-storm delays.

Plus, even if the storm has passed through the DC area, it doesn't mean you're free. If your plane is coming from (say) New York or Boston and then continuing onward, it could very well be delayed if the storm is impacting those areas and your plane cannot get out.

It's always possible of course that nothing will happen, but if you must be there on Sunday I'd err on the side of caution.
posted by andrewesque at 11:37 AM on August 25, 2011

Saturday is safer - if you really need to be there, get out before the storm hits. Sunday you'll have to deal with the airlines clearing out the backup and also with planes being delayed from wherever they're coming from. (I'm not convinced the storm will be past us by 5p on Sunday - it probably will be, but I wouldn't say 100% - I may be buying into the hype, but potentially Sunday is going to be really bad, and I remember how fucked we were after Isabel...)
posted by mrs. taters at 12:01 PM on August 25, 2011

Will Saturday evening be OK? Looks like the first bands of the storm may start then...
posted by awesomebrad at 12:08 PM on August 25, 2011

The closer that you get to the storm the more people will be leaving the area ans the less chance that you will be able to get a ticket. Make the reservation now and the earlier the better. A reservation for Friday evening at the latest it it were really that important to get to my home town :)
posted by Poet_Lariat at 12:31 PM on August 25, 2011

Whatever you reschedule for, do it ASAP. Like, today. And I would go earlier than 5pm Saturday if I could...based my Weather Underground Fanboy understanding...but I think you would be ok then.
posted by stevis23 at 12:48 PM on August 25, 2011

The answer is "rebook as early as possible." Going out Saturday morning now. Thanks to everyone for giving me the kick in the pants I needed.
posted by awesomebrad at 10:10 AM on August 26, 2011

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