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Flight delays of 24 hours or more due to weather

Flight delays of 24 hours or more due to weather

Dec 20th, 2010, 10:10 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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Flight delays of 24 hours or more due to weather

What have your experiences been?

If you had prepaid accommodations and activities booked that needed to be changed or canceled, how was that handled?

Of what assistance was travel insurance?

Any hints or suggestions on dealing with travel related lengthy delays?

Thanks!
atravelynn is offline  
Dec 20th, 2010, 11:24 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3,864
Are you asking because this has happened to you, or you're concerned that it may happen, say with the weather situation in Europe right now?
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Dec 20th, 2010, 11:35 AM
  #3  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Just a couple of weeks ago I had weather delays in Europe. On my way there I had a 10hr delay and spent a good part of that time waiting in line to rebook.

On the way home I applied the earlier lessons. Rather than wait around the airport for a day in a futile attempt to get on the overbooked next flight I got a confirmed seat for the following day and got out of the airport.

I was on company travel so I didn't worry about incurring any hotel costs - 1 night was paid for by the airline anyway.

I didn't have any must-do activities, and a simple phone call home rescheduled what I did have planned.

I got to a hotel with internet, got a little work done, then planned some fun activities for the day. Basically made lemonade out of lemons.

Having a Europe enabled cell phone didn't do me much good at the airport since the airline required I wait in line to rebook. I had made sure I had the local airline phone #'s. I did NOT have my company TA Europe phone #"s handy - might have been a good idea.

Also at the airport I had my laptop with internet access and was able to look up alternate flight schedules,communicate with others, etc.

I had checked a bag with most of my clothes, made sure I carried 1 day change of clothes with me in a tiny gym bag. Glad I did.
J62 is offline  
Dec 20th, 2010, 03:53 PM
  #4  
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I am thinking it might happen to me in the future as it is happening to lots of people right now in Europe.

Having all #s you might need is a good idea, J62, along with that indespensible carryon with a day's change of attire or at least a change of underwear.

I'm wondering more about days of delay as opposed to hours and wondering if it meant a large financial loss and/or a very messed up holiday for anyone. Or maybe exceptions were granted, refunds made, insurance covered things.

I've been delayed about 24 hours a few times but not for weather. One time travel insurance paid out and I made a very nice profit. The other times were all on the way home.
atravelynn is offline  
Dec 21st, 2010, 11:49 AM
  #5  
 
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Not related to the current situation but my experience with hotels, if you book directly, is that if there is major disruption due to weather they are flexible with rebooking dates.

Now if you book with some of the intermediate websites or a travel agent I don't know. Trip insurance has so many escape clauses that you need to read it very carefully.
mlgb is offline  
Dec 21st, 2010, 03:28 PM
  #6  
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If I wait a week, there may be people with recent experiences. That's assuming they can get out of the European airports within a week.
atravelynn is offline  
Dec 21st, 2010, 04:16 PM
  #7  
 
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"If you had prepaid accommodations and activities booked that needed to be changed or canceled, how was that handled?"

You need to ask the places where you have pre-paid accommodations. Every hotel/B&B/self catering apartment will have its own policies/rules/requirements.

"Of what assistance was travel insurance?

That depends on what sort of policy you bought.
janisj is online now  
Dec 28th, 2010, 05:29 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
Weather delays are one of the reasons many businesses still use travel agents. They can quickly rebook you without your having to stand in line and can't reach the airline, although of course they do not have any magic access to flights so you may still not get out until Thursday.

Airlines in the US are not obliged to do anything for you, but once you are rebooked ask for a "distress rate" voucher for a hotel until your new departure date. You will have to pay, but you will pay the crew rate which is usually in the $40-50 range, and you may get a food voucher if you ask nicely or are missing a connection.

Make yourself a solution to the problems/nightmares being faced by the person at the desk, and they can do all sorts of things for you that you will not get if you become part of their problem ("I want your name, you idiot, and I will write to the President of the Company."
Ackislander is offline  
Dec 28th, 2010, 06:01 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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The last paragraph of Ackislander's post above may be the most important thing to keep in mind. Keep your cool and realize that the agent you're dealing with did not cause the problem. Taking out your frustrations on that person accomplishes nothing.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Dec 28th, 2010, 07:07 AM
  #10  
 
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Not for weather, but twice I've been, uh, stuck. Once in Singapore for 3 days because of a schedule change. Once in Seychelles for 4 days because of a mechanical with the aircraft in Europe.

Loved it! Was in no hurry to get home and enjoyed the extra time. (And didn't have to pay for the hotels in Seychelles!)
NoFlyZone is offline  
Dec 29th, 2010, 04:40 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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I like all these tips and stories - thanks for sharing!

atravelynn - I had just posted something similar on the US forum after seeing so many facebook updates about "hotel JFK"
Cate_W is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 08:46 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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In April ... Yes you guessed it .. VOLCANO ASHES ... Flew from LAX to LHR and then was to go onto Rome. When we got off the plane at LHR we were told about the ashes and ALL the canceled flights. We needed to get to Rome to catch a tour. We planned on arriving in Rome 2 days before the tour started so we could adjust to local time etc. No flights, so we thought O.K. we will take the train. We go to the ground transportation office at the airport to find out that ALL the trains were BOOKED. Now what ? No planes or trains. They suggested a private car at the rate of 800 USD to take us to Paris where we could get a flight to Rome. I was traveling with my sister & we decided to do it. Get to Paris & again All the flights were canceled & the trains were booked or on strike in certain parts of Italy. Again, we hired a driver at the tune of 2400 USD and 14 - 15 hours later we arrived in Rome just in time to make our tour. Our Travel Ins. paid for both drivers & the airlines paid for our 1 night hotel stay at the Paris airport. We had trip ins. to cover the cost of our 2 tours which was about 8000 USD It was either hire the drivers or cancel the tour. We will ALWAYS get Travel Ins. for all our future trips.
deedeedee is offline  

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