Hundreds of Flights Cancelled Due to Historic Blizzard

Hundreds of Flights Cancelled Due to Historic Blizzard

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It may not end up being the most significant blizzard when the final snow totals are tallied, but it will prove to be one of the most disruptive.

A blizzard, which began to form off of the North Carolina coast on Christmas Day, has roared up the east coast and dumped a foot or more snow from Philadelphia to Boston and beyond. The worst hit areas appear to be along the coast with parts of New Jersey experiencing as much as 30 inches of the fluffy white stuff.

Hundreds of flights have been canceled with traffic disrupted across the United States and internationally as airports shut down long enough for the storm to pass by and to allow crews time to dig out. If your flight has been canceled, you should be able to get another flight, but it could be days before you’re able to leave.

Your rights as a consumer vary and depend much on your airline’s policy. You may be able to gain some additional policy flexibility during these times as airlines seek to rebook thousands of passengers — you can always ask for special consideration, but your best chances of succeeding is being flexible yourself which could mean agreeing to have your trip rerouted through a different airport.

Let’s take a look at some ways you can cope with a flight disruption:

Flight Refund — If you were planning a trip to the tropics on December 26 and your flight out is delayed by days, you may be able to get a full refund on your ticket. Or, if you started your trip and the remaining trip was canceled or postponed, you may be able to get a refund on the unused portion of your trip.

Flex Flight — Your airline may agree to push your flight back by up to seven days instead of having you wait at the airport a day or two to get out. This option is especially valuable if you can start or resume your trip at a later date, with no penalties for you.

New Destination — You may have wanted to visit New York for the new year, but have decided that taking such a trip now would be less than ideal. Instead, you could ask for new travel plans — a visit to sunny Miami or snowless Houston instead of socked-in Manhattan. Your airline should agree to making these changes for you at no charge.

Hotel Stays — If you are stranded at the airport, do not count on the airline putting you up in a hotel when flights are canceled due to weather. The airline may arrange a room for you, but they may not be required to pay for it. Your rights as a passenger stranded in the E.U. may differ from a passenger stuck in the U.S.

As always, if you aren’t sure what the airline’s policies are you can log on to their website or ask an agent. Under unusual circumstances you may get some special assistance, which may also depend on whether you’re in transit, have small children in tow or need special flight assistance.

Adv. — Are you planning a flight to a tropical destination this winter? SayFunTravel.com has flight information including travel packages, special deals and vacation tips and ideas.

Photo Credit: Juliana Muncinelli

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