TikTok's Tips For Travelers Whose Flights Gets Canceled Due To Weather

It's no secret that bad weather can ruin a vacation. Extreme temperatures can make sightseeing unbearable, and a big storm could have you stuck in your hotel for days. But sometimes, bad weather stops you from even leaving, particularly if your departure flight gets canceled.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, weather is one of the most common causes of flight delays and cancellations. Unlike other factors, such as aircraft maintenance, a blizzard or hurricane is no one's fault — making it harder to protect yourself if your flight is grounded. Thankfully, some savvy travelers on TikTok have advice that could help. One tip comes courtesy of Nat from @adventuresofmattandnat, who suggests googling "bill of rights," followed by the name of the airline you booked. As the content creator explains, this will help you learn your rights and the guarantees offered by the airline.

If your carrier was American Airlines, for instance, you'll find details on its conditions of carriage page. Unfortunately, this airline offers few protections in the event of a weather-related cancellation. It will generally bump you to another upcoming flight and refund any difference in the cost (such as if your business class ticket was downgraded to an economy seat). So what if you want full compensation for your trouble? A few other TikTok hacks have you covered.

Get in touch with the airline

If bad weather is threatening your trip, don't delay contacting a customer service agent from the airline. Being one of the first to get in touch can save you stress and time spent waiting on hold for hours. If you're already at the airport, TikTok travel guru @maxmilespoints suggests getting in line as soon as possible because, as he says, "it's first come, first served." While lining up, the TikToker also suggests searching online for alternative flights if you still wish to fly. If weather is to blame for your canceled flight, you may struggle to find comparable options, so try changing the date or airport to broaden your search results. The TikToker suggests having this information on hand when you're ready to talk to the airline agent so they can quickly get you rebooked.

If the line is too long or if you're not yet at the airport, he also recommends calling the airline, preferably using its international phone number if available (you might be connected to a representative more quickly this way, the creator says). Alternatively, consider getting in touch on the platform X, formerly known as Twitter. Tweet the airline directly, briefly stating which flight got canceled and what resolution you'd prefer.

Check the terms of your credit card

The credit card you used to pay for your trip may offer protections that can come in handy if your flight gets canceled due to bad weather. According to NerdWallet, several popular cards (including the American Express Platinum card, Chase Sapphire cards, and the Capital One Venture Rewards card) include built-in travel insurance that provides compensation if a flight is delayed or canceled. In a TikTok clip posted by @cnn, lawyer Erika Kullberg says that if your flight was interrupted by weather, your first line of defense is "finding what the credit card benefits are and seeing if there's something in there that says 'travel delay protection' or 'travel delay insurance.'" You can typically find these details on your credit card company's website or through a quick online search.

Keep in mind, however, that weather-related delays and cancellations aren't always covered by credit card insurance. When in doubt, contact your credit card company to find out its specific rules and terms.

Stay home and get a full refund

It can be disappointing to find out that an important business trip or family vacation was halted due to weather. But the good news is that, if you decide to forgo the trip altogether, you're entitled to full compensation. @erikakullberg modeled this tip in a viral TikTok video, where she role-plays as an airline representative and a passenger whose flight was canceled due to weather. In the clip, the airline agent offers to bump the passenger to a different flight the following day. The passenger declines, and the agent offers a travel voucher instead. Eventually, the passenger insists on being given a full refund since they're no longer interested in going on the trip, and the representative finally agrees.

The TikTok hack may seem too good to be true, but according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, it is within your rights to receive a refund. The Department of Transportation states, "A consumer is entitled to a refund if the airline canceled a flight, regardless of the reason, and the consumer chooses not to travel." Take your refund and book a flight for a future date — and keep your fingers crossed that bad weather won't interfere again.