1.Do pay attention to your airline's website, mobile app or Facebook and Twitter accounts at the first hint of weather trouble, especially if this trip is for a can't-miss event or a delay or cancellation would leave you in a bind with work or other obligations. Airlines routinely issue travel advisories, alerts and waivers
2. Don't head for the airport before checking your flight status and checking for any notifications from your airline. Unless it's a last-minute delay or cancellation, there's little excuse for not knowing about it. Airlines regularly alert travelers about flight troubles via email, text message, their mobile apps and sometimes even the phone if that's the contact information you provided.
3.Do check out airline self-service options for rebooking. The snaking line at the customer service counter or gate and the airline's reservations centers aren't the only way to book a new flight. Many airlines allow you to rebook your flight (if they haven't already or you don't like the flight they picked) on their websites and mobile apps.
4.Don't take the trip if rebooking is too much of a hassle and the trip is discretionary. Airlines are required to refund your money if your flight is canceled, even if you bought a non-refundable ticket (including those basic economy tickets.)
5.Do not expect the airline to pay for a hotel or food or an extra rental car day if you are stranded coming or going due to weather. Screaming at a gate agent or swearing at the airline on Twitter is not going to change the fact that airlines are not required to provide any kind of compensation or accommodations during weather delays and cancellations. The U.S. Department of Transportation spells it out on the"fly rights'' section of its website: "Contrary to popular belief, for domestic itineraries airlines are not required to compensate passengers whose flights are delayed or canceled.''
6.Don't wait until the last minute to book an airport hotel, or you could end up on the terminal floor during a nasty storm. Airlines often hand out lists of area hotels to stranded travelers – some offering passengers discounts – after a late flight is canceled. But you can get ahead of the crowd by reserving a room the second the flight is canceled. One app to try: HotelTonight. Pro tip: To reduce costs (see No. 5) look for hotels with a complimentary shuttle and free breakfast.
7. Do ask hotels and other travel companies for a break if your vacation has been delayed a day (or more) by a canceled flight. Hotels tend to have more forgiving cancellation policies than airlines, especially during major weather events. Be kind to the person on the phone. They don't owe you anything.