Getting stranded is never fun, and Manhattan is a fast moving place where hotels can fill up quickly and transportation can be a nightmare. If you made it to the airport before discovering that your flight was cancelled, what do you need to do to survive an unplanned night in the city?
Call Your Airline
As soon as you determine that your flight will not be leaving according to plan, you need to get in touch with your airline’s customer service. If weather conditions are bad enough that no planes are getting off the ground, most airlines have agreements worked out with nearby hotels to accommodate stranded travelers. Just make sure you don’t wait too long to get on the phone because it will get harder and harder for them to find room for you once multiple flights are cancelled. If your airline is not able to secure a room for you, use one of the many apps that now allow you to search for available rooms across the city in one step: HotWire, Expedia, and Travelocity are most popular.
Don’t Forget to Eat
More than likely you will be faced with long wait times to get a cab or shuttle to your room for the night. Instead of pacing around with your luggage, go ahead and sit down to eat. Take your time, enjoy your meal and make the most of it. Travelers who forget to eat and don’t stay hydrated will feel the strain for days afterward.
Enjoy a Book or Take in a Movie
When was the last time you had a chance to just sit down and read a book or watch a movie uninterrupted. Most airports now have plenty of outlets for you to plug in your laptop or tablet, and internet access so you can enjoy a movie. There are also book stores in the airport so you can pick up some fresh reading material while you wait. For once you can relax without feeling guilty.
Talk to the Locals
If you happen to be visiting Manhattan from out of state or outside of the country, now is a great opportunity to meet a few locals and hear their stories. Sure, everyone is probably a little stressed and not all of them will want to talk, but you’re all in this together and you never know who you could be sitting next to while you wait.
Whatever you decide to do during your spare time in Manhattan, try not to panic or get overwhelmed. Rest assured that airline professionals are doing everything they are to get things moving again, and try to be patient with the customer service agents. The longer the delays drag on, the harder it is for everybody.