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Who to call when bad weather’s in the forecast

SmarterTravel

Flying during the winter or hurricane season? If so, there’s a possibility of a storm hitting your departure, connecting, or destination airport. However, airlines occasionally waive change fees in these situations. By being proactive when bad weather is predicted, you may be able to save your trip and your money.

About a week before departure, check the forecast on a site such as Weather.com, which shows a 10-day outlook for cities worldwide. If a significant storm appears to be brewing, call your airline or travel agency and see if it will waive your change fees. Faced with a substantial storm, many airlines will temporarily waive change fees for passengers wishing to move their flights up or back a couple of days. Generally, you can’t change your travel dates too drastically, and refunds are almost never granted should you cancel.

Just because Al Roker says the storm of the century is coming doesn’t mean your airline is going to give you a waiver. Unless airline executives decide to issue a temporary waiver policy, all the usual rules apply. Sometimes airlines wait until the last possible moment to issue a waiver, so even if you couldn’t change your flight a few days before you fly, things might be different as your departure date gets closer. Making a change over the phone the night before is certainly less painful than trying to do it at the airport, should your flight be canceled or delayed.

Have a great travel tip you’d like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to editor@smartertravel.com.

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