Travel Agents Share Tips for Dealing With Winter Storm Jonas Delays
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With Storm Jonas bearing down on the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic—and threatening to wreak havoc on travel—travel executives and agents had this advice for travelers.
“The best thing a traveler can do is be prepared and try to make arrangements now to alter travel plans,” said Drew Daly, general manager of network engagement and performance for CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. “If they are unable to make any changes, then they should be ready for anything. Flight delays occur every day and they will absolutely occur during inclement weather. This is why we always recommend customers who are traveling from a colder climate to fly in the day before their cruise.”
Daly also recommended that travelers have on hand several key pieces of information including the phone numbers for all of the carriers they are traveling on (plus hotel, cruise line, etc.), and their travel agents contact information.
“If they find themselves with a delay and are at the airport, then I recommend calling the airline while they are waiting in line,” he added. “Chances are they will have better luck over the phone.”
Airline apps are also a great tool in weather disasters, according to Brian Chima, of Akron, Ohio-based Chima Travel.
“Downloading the app of the airline you’re flying on and inserting your flight details and/or confirmation number is key,” he said. “The apps will send you up-to-date alerts directly from the airline about your flight. The app will even tell you when your flight is delayed enough that you are eligible for a new flight.”
Travel insurance is always a good idea and no way more so than in weather disasters, agents said. “Make sure you have travel insurance that includes flight delay coverage due to weather,” said John Gawne, a Cruises Inc. IC based in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
And Keith Belanger, a CruiseOne franchise owner in Saco, Maine, reminds travelers that, “If you have purchased travel protection, be sure to have the phone number and policy number readily available in the event of a delay.”
“If travel protection has not been purchased, now may be a time to look and see if whether or not it could be purchased to protect your travel investment,” he added.
TravelPulse founder Mark Murphy appeared on CNN Friday, Jan. 22 to offer his own advice for travelers dealing with the storm:
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