Anne Banas Of SmarterTravel.Com Shares Her Passion For Chocolate And Pastry

Anne Banas just got back from Europe ...

Anne Banas just got back from Europe …

Paul and Elizabeth welcome back Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel.com. Anne provides regular travel reports from her recent experiences on the road but this time we talk about chocolate and pastry. What better reason to travel than to sample these delights around the world.

This is an example of some of the great advice Anne provides at Smarter Travel.com: Bad weather can wreak havoc on your travel plans. With headlines playing up planes stuck on tarmacs and newspapers printing images of exhausted people sleeping on airport floors, it’s hard to avoid total panic. But it doesn’t have to be that way when your flight is grounded.

Here’s a primer on your rights and other important things you need to know when bad weather strikes.

The Bad News

Airlines consider bad weather situations—including snow storms, hurricanes, fog conditions, and so on—to be “force majeure” events or “acts of God,” and are not the fault of the airlines. Therefore, when it comes to your rights when there’s a cancellation, the one basic thing you are entitled to is a refund—no free hotel stays, no ground transportation, and no food vouchers (though airlines might offer these options at its discretion).

And there are other potential woes. Even with a flight refund, travelers may not be fully reimbursed in these situations since they might have missed a cruise departure or tour (which may or may not be fully refundable), or they might need to pay for extended hotel nights and other travel expenses out of pocket.

Plus, travelers might have to wait quite a while, depending on the severity of the storm, before being able to return home or reach their intended destination. It can takes several days for all passengers to be rerouted. And although airlines often add more air lift, it still takes time to relocate planes and flight crews.

The Good News

Airlines have learned from the past and now preemptively cancel flights before storms hit. In theory, with the advance warning, fewer passengers will find themselves stuck at the airport than in the past. Though it might seem counterintuitive, you’ll have better access to resources in the comfort of your home or hotel room than at the airport.

Also, airlines have historically waived change fees so that customers can rebook without penalty. Normally, you would have to pay a hefty fee (up to $150 for domestic and $250 for international flights) to alter your ticket. However, date restrictions will often apply, and every airline’s waiver policy is slightly different in each circumstance.

Some Helpful Tips

While weather can disrupt your travel plans, here are some essential tips to minimize stress and allow you to take matters into your own hands:   Read more