Preparing for Flight Weather? Here’s What to Know
Flight weather is always a thought when making travel plans. If you’re curious as to how to best prepare for it, read the following helpful tips below.
Every morning when we rise, we have a plan for the day. We have an idea of what we are doing, how we intend to do it, and when. Whether is a day at the office, a day of errands, a holiday celebration, or a vacation. Unfortunately, no matter how many times we assume that things will go as planned, they often do not.
Perhaps one of the biggest factors affecting our plans is the weather. Snow, thunderstorms, rain, too much sunshine, heavy winds can all impact what we have going on, depending on what it is. And often, it is the weather that causes our travel plans to disintegrate right before our eyes.
Nobody likes to watch the monitors in the airport update the flight status to DELAYED, or worse – CANCELLED. Though, since we are in no position to ditch air travel, how can we be better prepared for flight weather?
Weather Troubles and Safety Concerns
Believe it or not, all sorts of weather conditions impact air travel. Here’s a look at the most common:
A perfectly sunny day is optimal for air travel. This means weather conditions are favorable and everything should run smoothly. However, it is important to note that when the temperatures get too high, it can affect the jet’s performance. Cool air is thicker than hot air – and this impacts the aircraft’s engine and various aerodynamic abilities. The result? Decreased climb performance and the need for additional runway space. Pilots can make simple adjustments to account for this hot air.
Wind direction and wind speed both affect flight time. A tailwind is one that moves in the same direction as the jet, pushing it forward. A headwind is the opposite, slowing down the jet as it travels against the wind. A crosswind is a wind that moves across the runway creating difficult landings and takeoffs.
Snow and ice.
Generally, aircraft handle ice and snow well – when in the air. It is when the jet is on the ground where issues arise. This is primarily regarding how well the runway is maintained and keeping the aircraft de-iced. Though, keep in mind that those who opt for private jets can often skip the de-icing as the jets are often kept in a hangar.
Visibility is an absolute must-have when it comes to air travel. So when fog is present, there is a good chance you are going to have to wait it out. Most accidents occur at airports which is why when visibility drops, there is a reduction in the number of aircraft moving about.
Rain and thunderstorms.
When it comes to rain alone, there is not any real impact for jets. As for thunderstorms, jets are designed to handle them well. They can climb fast to get above the bad weather when taking off. And when landing, smaller private jets seem to be more agile and flexible in their approach to the runway – especially since they can descend rapidly.
The Changing Seasons
Because weather can play such a huge role in air travel, it is important to consider the seasons when you book your flights. After all, frequent fliers know this so well that they even know exactly which side of the plane to select their seat to avoid things like the sunrise or sunset. The point is – when you book your future travel – you have to consider the weather and current climate situation at the time of travel.
Granted, it is impossible to know what the weather will be like when you head out on vacation in 7 months, but taking into mind the climate in your current city and that of your destination, you get a pretty good idea of the delays, issues, or other troubles you may encounter.
Will you be traveling during an icy cold winter, rainy spring, a brutally hot summer, or windy autumn? Pay attention to the common weather conditions when you book your travel.
What happens when you get a rush of holiday travel during some of the coldest months? Between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays as well as Spring Break, there is often a lot of people – and a lot of flight delays and cancellations. Over time, the number of travelers far exceeds the amount of seating available, as commercial airliners attempt to re-route passengers.
Holiday travel can be a nightmare so be ready for it. There are a few things you can prepare for, such as having all your travel documents in order, packing light, opting for the least busy travel times, etc.
But the truth is, no matter how prepared you are for your holiday travel, Mother Nature can make a grand entrance when you least expect it. Sometimes she gives a warning, sometimes she doesn’t. If you have a non-refundable commercial airline ticket, you may find yourself in a tough situation.
How You Can Be Prepared
Now that we have talked about all the things that could go wrong thanks to the weather and your travel plans, let’s take a look at the things you have control over, shall we?
Fly Private. It’s that simple. When you choose to fly private, you automatically open yourself up to a whole new travel world – and we aren’t just referring to the more comfortable and luxurious accommodations. You won’t see FBO’s packed tightly with thousands of passengers due to canceled or delayed flights. Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, this is a huge bonus.
Flying private offers more, though. You have an entire team looking at the weather, assessing the current situation as well as the conditions for your flight. Using tools, specialized software systems, and expert analysis skills, your route and flight times can be adjusted to ensure the highest level of safety.
When commercial airliners make these adjustments, they affect hundreds of people with a crippling ripple effect. However, when a private jet does so, you may have to let the current weather conditions clear, but then you move with your travel plans.
Final Thought on Flight Weather
Weather is unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean your travel plans have to be. Be smart about booking your travel – and consider taking advantage of all the perks of choosing a private jet.