(WCPO) - This is the time of year many of us are heading off on our spring break trips or planning our summer getaway. But if your trip involves an airline flight, you'll want to plan for some some contingencies if your flight is delayed or canceled, as many are these days.
Cancelations instead of delays
Nowadays, when the weather starts getting bad, airlines start canceling flights. In the old days, you might have to sit for two or three hours but you would get to your destination that day.
Now, airlines are telling you not even to bother coming to the airport if the weather is bad. But that can ruin your connection or cruise.
Why? New tarmac rules mean airlines face fines for long passenger delays. So if storms are coming, airlines will now cancel your flight -- rather than risk lengthy delays -- according to a new report in Time magazine.
The last thing an airline wants is passengers sitting for three hours on the tarmac. But it leads to cancelations.
That means it's important to have a backup plan or at least leave extra early, especially if you have to catch a cruise ship or another flight.
Doesn't that stink?
Which leads to the "doesn't that stink" file.
If your flight to catch a cruise ship or catch an overseas jumbo jet out of New York or Boston is canceled, you may miss your entire vacation.
That cruise ship won't wait, nor will that European bus tour. And if you miss your tour, you'll say "doesn't that stink."
So three tips to protect yourself:
1. Look up backup flights, in case yours is scrapped. Know what your options are in advance so the minute you hear of a cancelation you can rebook on an alternate flight before all the seats fill up. The people who end up standing in line at the airline counter often miss the next flight because it is full.
2. Never schedule a tight, one or two-hour connection to a cruise or international flight. You may even want to arrive the night before just to be safe (but yes, you will incur another night in a hotel).
3. Consider travel insurance that covers for canceled flights.
Sure, you don't want to be a worry wart. That can take the fun out of your vacation. But it's still a good idea to have a backup plan in the back of your head just in case weather or other factors cancel your flight.
And that way you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
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