One of the most important things to “pack,” when traveling by air in winter, is patience and maybe a good sense of humor. Operating aircraft, safely, in the extremes of seasonal weather, is a huge challenge.
Sometimes passengers are perplexed at how a snowstorm in “far-away” Vancouver can cause their flight from Toronto to Miami to be delayed. This is a fact of modern airline travel when jet-liners routinely criss-cross the entire continent in a few hours. Your aircraft and maybe flight crew might experience long delays getting out of Vancouver (or where ever) this morning due to on-going snow issues and the need to de-ice the plane before take-off. This puts on-going flights behind schedule as well.
Things can get even more complicated if the second leg of a journey would keep the affected crews working beyond their maximum allowed duty times. Beyond specified extension allowances for weather and mechanical delays, crews are not legally allowed to begin a flight if they will not be able to complete it without exceeding these extended duty times. So, the airline is forced to find replacement crew-members for your flight and – guess what. During extended periods of bad weather, these extra crew-members just aren’t available. They’re all busy elsewhere. So flight cancellations and consolidations occur. In other words – delays, delays, delays.
But, this is the reality of flying in winter. “It ain’t easy! Especially when the demands of maintaining a high standard of safety are paramount. So – keep patient. Keep smiling. And keep telling yourself “It’s an adventure. This will be a funny story to tell at a party someday.”