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Advice for Winter Travel Delays

Advice for Winter Travel Delays

[ Fri, 2010-03-05 16:48 ]
Winter Storm causes travel frustration
Got your spring ski trip all lined up? Don't forget to keep on top of weather warnings, which can kill even the best-planned trips.

Winter storm warnings can be a happy sign your ski vacation is going to be a good one. But they can also mean a delay -- or, at worst, the end -- of a long-planned and long-anticipated trip to the hills. And now things are getting worse. As the rough economy has shrunk demand for travel, airlines have shrunk their capacity for travelers. And as that capacity has shrunk, the New York Times reports, the airlines' ability to accommodate weather-stranded travelers has also receded. Airlines are taking some action to alleviate the issue, but some of those efforts -- such as offering to rebook passengers if even a hint of bad weather is in the air -- are further complicating matters for those same travelers. So what to do? First, keep up to date on weather patterns that concern your trip, and keep refreshing your airline's Web page for any cancelations or changes. Second, during storm-prone parts of the season, don't skip the travelers' insurance. While airlines should refund your flight costs in the event of a cancelation, the lovely little B&B you've got reservations for might not offer a full or even a partial refund. Third, if you are stranded, don't sit around waiting for the gate agent to save you. Check similar flights with other airlines for availability. Get on the phone with your booking agent, whether it's the airline or an online travel service -- but don't immediately press 1 for a real person. Some online service automatically bump delayed passengers to the front of the automated line for faster service. But whatever you do, remember to keep calm. Weather happens, and no amount of sour-facing at the ticket counter will keep the snow at bay.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/cliff1066