SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The wintry mix could cause major disruptions as people travel for the holiday weekend.
Whether you’re flying or driving to your holiday destinations, it’s likely you’ll face delays or cancellations, or harsh road conditions. According to AAA, nearly 113 million people will journey 50 miles or more away from home. Nearly 7.2 million Americans are expected to fly between December 23 and Jan. 2, which is 14 percent more than last year and almost as many as in 2019.
Travel experts encourage travelers to secure their trips. Whether it’s looking at the terms and conditions of your ticket or purchasing travel insurance to avoid possible cancellations.
“You always get trapped, you know you fly somewhere. We’ve flown somewhere before and have gotten trapped at airports during holidays you know and then you’re stuck there for the holidays or when you’re coming home and then you’re stuck again,” Rick Most from West Springfield said.
The timing of this storm could not be worse making road conditions dangerous with wind, rain, and then ice right before Christmas Eve.
Most people drive to their destinations for the holidays and unfortunately driving is going to get tricky with the upcoming storm. AAA states starting on Friday, drivers could see travel times up to 25 percent longer and that’s without the winter weather. Travelers we spoke to are keeping their travel plans intact for now expressing more concern about traffic than the weather.
“Honestly the traffic part is going to be worse, probably going to have to take a look at what route we are going to take but it’s going to be traffic no matter which way we go. We probably are going to leave at about noon time. I think the rain is going to be a little bit gone by then hopefully, but it shouldn’t be too bad and we’ll just take our time.” Nick Clement, Agawam
Travel tips for coping with winter weather:
- Avoid the road during the worst part of the storm
- Watch out for debris and fallen tree limbs from the wind
- Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition
- Keep plenty of space between other cars
For flying, if you do face a cancellation due to the weather, you have options. Many airlines are offering travel waivers, which allow passengers to re-book without additional fees. Be sure to check with the airline you’re using for specifics on their policies.
If your flight is canceled, airlines are obligated by federal law to provide a full refund if the passenger requests it. It’s also a good idea to track your flight to stay on top of any changes made before heading to the airport.