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As if long security lines and full airport parking lots weren’t enough, there’s another hurdle facing Turkey Day travelers this year: nasty weather. Relentless rain and heavy thunderstorms have already caused flight delays in Northeastern and Midwestern airports this week, and the outlook is still looking a little shaky today.

How can you make your Thanksgiving trip go more smoothly? As Ed Hewitt advises in Winter Travel Tips:

“Check weather at your connecting cities as well as at your departure and destination airports. We all want to know what the weather is like for the departure and arrival airports (particularly if we’re traveling on vacation), but you’ll want to know what is going on at your connecting airport as well. If the weather looks very bad, you may want to contact your airline to see if it can reroute you; it may be in its best interest to do so.

“If it does look like you will need rerouting, your chances of getting on a different flight will be greatly enhanced if you’ve already done the research yourself to determine which alternate flights might work best.”

We recommend programming your airline’s 800 number into your cell phone, as well as the contact info for any other airlines that also serve your route. And, of course, you’ll want to arrive as early as possible at the airport and check flight status frequently. Web sites like FlightStats.com can help; many airlines also let you sign up for flight status alerts to be texted or e-mailed directly to your phone.

For more tips, see our Holiday Travel Survival Guide and 16 Ways to Get Through the Airport Faster.

– written by Sarah Schlichter

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