With Hurricane Earl approaching the east coast of the U.S. over the next few days, my flight through Newark to Scotland looks to certainly be at risk. Since airlines are usually very accommodating when it comes to re-arranging travel due to major weather issues, I knew that if I called Continental I’d be able to get re-routed through a non-hurricane city. Continental, Delta, United and other major airlines have already posted their advisories and travel waiver information.

But no one told the Continental agent yet.

I was told that as of 1 am on Sept 2nd, Continental is not accommodating any flight changes so I would have to pay for my flight change. It’s an international flight so the change fee is even higher than changing a domestic ticket. Since I was online with Continental and could see their Notice, I knew what she was telling me was not true.

As I started to read her the Important Notice on www.continental.com, we lost our phone connection (and no, I didn’t hang up on her).

It’s a good thing we lost our connection, because I didn’t want to have to take time to inform her of her airline’s travel policy.

I called Continental again and got another agent. She immediately agreed that any change fee would be waived. I’m now rebooked through Houston (an airport that I’ll have just flown through 36 hours earlier) but at least I can avoid Newark.

Travel Advisories for some of the major airlines:

United: http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6867,52939,00.html

Delta: http://www.delta.com/traveling_checkin/flight_status_updates/index.jsp

US Air: http://www.usairways.com/TravelCenter/Advisories.aspx

Jet Blue: http://www.jetblue.com/JetblueAlerts/WeatherUpdate.aspx

Airtran: http://www.airtran.com/weather/

Southwest: http://www.southwest.com/html/travel_center/HURRICANE_EARL.html

American: Not yet listed as of this post.

If you’re flying over the next few days through any east coast airport, please check out your airline’s website for important travel advisories.

And be patient when calling your airline for rebooking, as you’re one of thousands. And if the airline tells you that they’re not waiving the change fees for an affected city, politely end the call. Re-phone the airline and speak with another agent.

Safe travels!

Posted by Carol Margolis | No Comments

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