Friday, November 6, 2009

Let it Snow.... But Don't Let it Delay or Cancel My Trip!

It’s a travel industry nightmare. Flights canceled or delayed because of weather. Be it a snowstorm or a hurricane, major “weather” causes havoc. Perhaps you’re scheduled to fly from or to an airport that’s closed or running a delay. Or maybe you’re changing planes at that airport. Or you are breathing a sigh of relief the night before your trip because you’re not going near the airports in cities reported to experiencing a blizzard. However, you learn the next morning that your plane actually originates where the weather was bad and, since the plane couldn’t get out, it couldn’t get to your airport so now there’s no airplane for you to fly on.

When Vicki's not helping clients plan fantastic vacations, she may be playing with their dogs or volunteering with Canine Partners of the Rockies Nearly two feet of snow fell on the Denver area two weeks ago. That October storm caused over 200 flights to be canceled that Thursday. One of our agents in that area, Vicki, reported that their ski areas were deliriously happy! As were her dogs as you can see from the photos of their backyard that she shared with us that day.

However, thousands of travelers were inconvenienced. People missed flight connections and trips were delayed. Some people were delayed in getting home. As airlines, resorts and cruise lines aren’t responsible for acts of nature, any extra accommodations and meals are at your own expense.

There are ways to better protect yourself, your vacation and your funds. The answer is to be a wise traveler by following these suggestions:

  • Consider flying to your port of departure a day or two in advance if cruising. The peace of mind alone is worth going in early so that weather or even mechanical delays can’t put your cruise at risk.

  • If you have to change planes, try to avoid airports in snow regions in the winter and hurricane regions during hurricane season.

  • If you have to change planes, plan for longer connecting times to give yourself a cushion in case your inbound flight is delayed.

  • Purchase travel insurance. One of the features of most insurances is “travel delay.” Insurance companies usually require a five to twelve hour delay (depending upon the insurance company) to qualify. Travel delay coverage can help with accommodation, meal and cab expenses both before and after a trip involving delays. Know your coverage, save your receipts and contact your travel agent so that he or she can guide you and start the claim with your insurance company.

  • With the right plans in place, you can help protect against unexpected problems to help ensure the wonderful vacation you deserve and look forward to enjoying. After all, if it'snowing the day you're vacation is scheduled to start, you might not be as happy about it as these two furry guys may be!

    ~ Connie