“Snow” Kidding?

Well…here we go again. As the next major winter storm targets the Midwest, and more importantly to any Chicago limo service, our fair city…we are again faced with the challenges of preparation and education. Preparation…of our chauffeurs and staff; adjusting for extended travel times, adding staff to handle increased call volume due to cancellations and changes, and overall customer safety awareness. Education…to help clients understand that a snow event in Chicago will likely mess with nationwide travel, regardless of whether they think it will or not.
The truth is…with all the snowstorms that have rolled through Chicago this winter…you would think everyone would be somewhat prepared for an end-of-season event. However, the smart money is on a combination of surprise and chaos, which has been the mark of nearly every storm we’ve dealt with this winter.

Hours could be spent on how to deal with winter travel woes, but from our perspective, ground transportation is the identifiable point where the traveler turns their fate over to a third party. Up until then, they have nearly sole control…and where they can take preemptive action.
First things first; try to reschedule if possible. There are a lot of reasons to consider this, but the sheer volume of flight cancellations across the country this winter should be testament enough that nothing is guaranteed as far as airline travel is concerned. Better to rebook if possible.

Time flies, and it flies much faster when roadways are choked with vehicles trying to maneuver through the snow. Most limo companies will recommend that travelers allow extra time for their trip to the airport or alternate destination. This is always a good idea in bad weather, and one that the traveler should not only embrace, but be thankful for. Unfortunately, many travelers would rather risk their safety by cutting their travel as tight as possible, blaming their inability to handle hanging out at the airport instead of lack of patience. While the airport is (to many) less than hospitable, it does beat sitting in the back of a chauffeur driven vehicle watching the minutes tick away as traffic crawls through the snow at a snails pace.

Finally, travelers need to accept the fact that snowstorms are beyond the control of worldly entities, and even the best intentions are often under-appreciated. For instance, when a forecast shows a storm approaching the west coast, O’Hare-Midway already has a significant number of booked reservations in the system. Still, checking and rechecking the weather will determine if additional business will be booked. While being this attentive should be construed as a good thing, the fact someone will always look for a negative. Not much that can be done in that case.

Spring will eventually come to Chicago, as will a lengthy respite from snow. However, until the last flake falls, we will have to deal with the harsh realities of snowy travel in Chicago.

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Dale Schahczinski
Goal driven team leader, with industry experience spanning all aspects of operations and administration.