Thousands of flights have been canceled. Trains and buses in the Northeast have ground to a halt. Even cruise ships are stuck in port, leaving hundreds of thousands of passengers stranded, or delayed as they wait out Hurricane Sandy, according to USA Today.
As I sit here in Cincinnati, OH for a social media conference, I’m almost certain that my flight back to Washington, DC tomorrow is going to be canceled. Anxiously and nervously, I start scouring the Internet for flight cancellation tips…for flight-cancellation-newbies like myself.
According to USA Today, here’s what you should do:
Q: If my flight’s been canceled, will I have to pay a fee to schedule a new trip?
A: The answer is no. By Monday morning, more than 8,962 flights had been canceled, according to the travel monitoring site FlightAware.com, and carriers were allowing travelers to re-book at no extra charge. In many cases, they’ll need to reschedule and take the trip by next week to avoid paying a difference in fare.
For example, United passengers who were set to fly from Sunday through Wednesday and whose flights were canceled or delayed more than two hours must re-book and travel by Nov. 7.
Q: What if I want my money back instead?
A: If your flight is canceled, you’re entitled to a refund, even on a non-refundable ticket, says George Hobica, with airfarewatchdog.com. That includes any fees you may have paid for any extras, like an upgraded seat.
Q: What if I used frequent-flier loyalty miles to book my trip? Can I get those back?
A: Yes. Your miles will be redeposited, and there should be no fees attached, Hobica says.
Q: I was set to take Amtrak down the coast, but there’s no service. What are my options?
A: Amtrak suspended all trips in the Northeast Corridor on Monday, including the Acela Express that is popular with business trekkers. Train passengers can get a refund, or a voucher they can use to take a future trip.
Q: What If I’d planned to take the bus along the East Coast?
A: Several bus lines, including Boltbus and Megabus, suspended service along the East Coast on Monday and Tuesday. Boltbus riders who’d already booked a trip should expect an automatic refund to their credit cards, or to their Boltbus Rewards accounts if they used loyalty points.
Megabus is planning to get back on the road after noon Tuesday, though that could change as the storm progresses. Riders who were set to travel between Sunday and Tuesday but whose bus trips were canceled can re-book a trip without paying a fee, or they can get their money back. Greyhound buses are also not running in the Northeast on Monday or Tuesday, but riders have up to a year to use their tickets.
To read the full article, visit www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2012/10/29/flight-cancellations-trip-rebooking/1665971.