T-Day has managed to sneak up on us yet again! Strange how that happens every year.
If you’re like me, this week is always a blessing and a burden. Hands down, the anticipation and excitement of a fun visit home to the family always conquers any potentially botched travel plans. But, the reality of living in Chicago is that you sometimes have to tolerate less than desirable weather in November and December along with a slightly (*wink*) busy airport at O’Hare.
Unfortunately, when an airport like O’Hare has severe delays, it’s usually a telltale sign for delays across the country. In the past, I’ve had mixed experiences with different airline websites serving as reliable resources for providing automated text updates on various flight delays. Sometimes they arrive on my phone, sometimes not and sometimes they show up days later – seriously.
Worry not. I’ve provided a few resources below to help you keep tabs and plan for any potential travel chaos this week.
Before you head out to the airport this week, I’d recommend following FLT Advisor on Twitter for good snapshot updates on various delays (CHI folks – I’d recommend following ORD on Twitter, but they seem to have halted tweets! www.flychicago.com may be your best bet.). You can also take advantage of a 30 day trial on FLT Advisor’s site or also check out this Airports List on Listorious to see if your local airport is tweeting updates. Those with iPhones can also download this Airport Flight Delays app.
For those that are a bit more visually inclined, be sure to check out FlightStats or USA Today’s Delays Map which also allows you to drill down on specific reasons for delays by state. Flight Aware also provides a very interesting albeit more technical look at live flight tracking.
Last but not least, for any severe procrastinators out there, be sure to check out lastminutetravel.com to see if you can snag any deals. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that contrary to initial trend snapshots from this summer, last minute deals may be the way to go.
If you’re opting to stick to the roads for your T-Day trek, MSN offers a nice real-time traffic map for tracking traffic around most major and mid-sized cities.
Last but not least, if you’re still looking for some fun things to do over the weekend to walk off those newly acquired Turkey pounds, hop over to the Twisitor Center. Created by the stellar team at @travelportland along with GoSeeTell, the site provides an interactive national map with easy access links to various visitor centers that are on Twitter. A very simple way to fire off a question or ask for a recommendation about a location you’d like to visit. Here’s a quick video on how Portland operates their Twisitor Center:
Feel free to leave any of your recommended resources below to help ease travel over the holidays.
Happy T-Day and safe travels!