It is starting to look like winter in the US.

A significant storm will evolve later this week and AccuWeather predicts that it will bring a wide swath of snow, rain and fierce winds from the Plains to the Atlantic Seaboard just in time for Christmas.

If you are flying this week, your flight could be delayed or even canceled.

It is easy to find lofty advice on how to make the most out of cancellation and delays on the internet and on social media.

It sounds like a great idea to get a voucher for the cost of your flight or stay at a fancy hotel at the airline's expense. When your flight is disrupted due to a winter storm, that is usually not the case.

When Mother Nature blows snow and ice, TPG staffers use real-life strategies.

Using FlightAware to get ahead

You can sometimes get a heads up before everyone else if you monitor flights on sites like FlightAware.


When rebooking flights, the senior reporter of the company uses this strategy to stay ahead of the game.

She will check FlightAware when a flight is delayed or if a flight should be boarding but the aircraft is not at the gate.

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If you click on the "see where my plane is now" option, you will be able to see if it is inbound or outbound.

A zeroed out flight is indicative of a cancellation, especially if it is well in advance of a flight.

A sold-out flight is one of the reasons why airlines stop selling seats. It's a way to get more info.

If you can make a same day change on the app for a new flight that works, you should be able to get a new flight.

If the flight is canceled, you can call customer service to see if you can get re booked on another flight.

If you have status with the airline, you should use the elite status call lines because they are great for this kind of assistance.

You will get more options if you are one of the first to rebook. The seats on upcoming flights will go fast once everyone calls in and rebooking.

There are five things to know about airline travel alert.

Get reimbursed for expenses

Take a good look at your credit card protections. It will require you to read the fine print, but you may be entitled to accommodations, credits or expense reimbursement by the airline or from your credit card, depending on the reason for delay or cancellation.

If you are stuck somewhere, trip delay insurance can save you a lot of money. You won't be able to avoid delays or cancelations. Expenses could be covered while you wait.

Using the right credit card to book your flight could save you money in case of delays and cancellations. WESTEND61/GETTY IMAGES

When a TPG reporter's flight was delayed for more than eight hours, she knew that she was entitled to a $200 credit, which was more than what she had originally paid.

If you use trip delay protection on your credit card, you can be reimbursed for any expenses you incur during your delay, such as an airline lounge day pass or a meal.

Knowing the fine print will help you make the most of your travel troubles.

Airline change and cancellation fees can be avoided.

Call customer service (or reach out on Twitter)

It is always a good idea to call customer service to see how the airline can help you.

Although an agent may not be able to rebook you on a same-day flight to your destination, you can often get a flight credit or some other measure of solace for the inconvenient situation.

Benét Wilson had a direct flight from San Antonio to Baltimore that was canceled.

She had to rebook with another airline because she couldn't get a same day flight out. She got a $300 voucher when she called Southwest.

I called Southwest to make sure their flight wasn't canceled. Wilson said that the agent found a flight but it was late.

He gave me a voucher for a car to use while I was out of town. The canceled part of the original flight has already been deposited into my account.

It never hurts to call customer service to see how the airline can help. WESTEND61/GETTY IMAGES

When customer service lines are busy, many TPG staffers have found success reaching out to airlines on the internet.

I missed my connection on the first leg of the American Airlines flight from New York City to Arkansas because of the delay.

I was rebooked on the earliest possible flight, thanks to reaching out to American Airlines on social media.

I didn't have to rush to the customer service desk to rebook after I arrived in Charlotte because it was better.

Strategically book your layovers

It is an example of why I try to book layovers in cities where I have friends and family. It isn't always possible, but some planning and a willingness to have a slightly longer layover could save you a lot of money in the long run.

I was able to call a friend who lived in the area to pick me up from the airport because I chose Charlotte instead of D.C.

I was able to spend time with a friend, get some non-airport food, and take a nap, instead of going to the airport.

Show up early for standby flights

If you get a heads-up that your flight is canceled or delayed, you can get a same day flight that will get you to your destination early.

Steve Romain was able to avoid overnight stays by using this strategy.

He would have missed a connection in Dallas because of a hiccup with his flight.

I showed up at the airport a bit earlier and did a free same-day standby onto an earlier flight that connected into a different city and A- List bumped me to the top of the list.

If the earlier flight is close to full, getting on the standby list isn't a good idea.

You will have priority over non-elite members if you have elite status. There is a fee for non-elite members to be put on the standby list.

Non-elites are allowed to stand by for an earlier flight for free.

Fly into a different airport

You can try to rebook a flight to another airport if you want to get home.

Melanie Lieberman has a top strategy when dealing with flight delays or canceled flights that requires her to wait a day or more to get home.

You can check to see if you can get on a flight to Philadelphia if your flight from L.A. is canceled with no rebooking options. You can take a train back to New York from there.

If you don't live in an area with easy access to trains or buses, you can take a one-way car rental from an alternative airport.

If you are able to get booked on a same day flight or if you don't mind staying the night in a hotel, this method may not be for you. It is an option for those who need to go home quickly.

Bottom line: Know your rights

It's a reality of flying right now. There are ways to mitigate the consequences.

This isn't anexhaustive list of everything you can do, but these are the strategies the staffers use frequently when we are faced with long flight delays.

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do is be aware of your rights and ask an airline for help.

It never hurts to see what an airline can do for you in the event of a cancellation or delay, whether it is rebooking you on the best possible flight, giving you a flight credit, or adding miles to your loyalty account.

The additional reporting was done by the person.