USA Today, October 29th 2012 – Strategies for Storm-Tossed Travelers

Published by October 29, 2012

See the full article from USA Today at: http://www.usatoday.com/story/dispatches/2012/10/29/hurricane-sandy-travel-advice-airlines/1665373/

9:23AM EDT October 29. 2012 – As Hurricane Sandy gains strength and takes aim at a wide swath of the East Coast, the menacing storm has already shredded travel plans from Hawaii to Europe – and options are decidedly limited for those trying to get out of or back into the region. A look at what to expect:

— Airlines canceled nearly 7,000 flights Sunday in an effort to get planes out of the storm’s path, and most airports from the mid-Atlantic to Boston will suspend operations today as the storm moves ashore. If your flight is scrapped or delayed at least two hours, you’re entitled to a full refund; airlines have waived their change fees but require you to rebook and travel by Nov. 4 to avoid paying any difference in fares. Monitor airlines’ and airports’ websites (and Twitter feeds) for the latest updates, and expect long delays if you’re calling an airline’s 800 number.Power failures may keep airline employees from getting to airports to restart service once the worst of the storm passes….

–Plan ahead for extended delays by making sure you have a list of airline and hotel contacts, electronic chargers and extra food in your carry-on bag (which, in itself, is a good strategy for minimizing headaches on unexpected tight connections).

–Check your insurance policy. According to Chris Harvey of the travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth, “if a traveler’s home is rendered uninhabitable by a hurricane, their travel insurance policy may cover them to cancel their trip or come home early and receive reimbursement.” The catch: You would have had to purchase the policy before Sandy was named a tropical storm.