Airline Passengers Still Dealing with Delays - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Airline Passengers Still Dealing with Delays

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We may be done with the deep freeze, but there are still stranded passengers everywhere waiting for the weather to thaw out. Experts say there are some things we can all do to make the ride a little less bumpy when it comes to winter travel.

We all know the images of snowed-in runways and ice on planes are tough to look at. But it's even tougher for passengers, who are looking at cancelled flights, long lines and potentially days of sleeping at airports. Gulliver's Travel Manager Janelle Throne says, "We had some clients on Monday that were supposed to go to Hawaii. And the soonest they could get them out was Thursday."

Throne says it's happened to her clients and she's experienced it firsthand. But when you experience bad weather, the airlines consider that an Act of God, so not their fault. So they won't pay for your accommodations.  "That is something that is up to you," Throne says. "To either go, choose to go to a hotel, or to sleep at the airport and just wait for your next flight."

Most airlines will book you on the next available flight, but we're seeing a ripple effect. Many flights now are already full. And experts say it could be another week before the system is back up to speed.

Our expert recommends travel insurance. Cost and coverage varies. Throne says, "Most of the time through certain travel companies, it's between 100 dollars and 130 dollars. So it's not a costly thing. When you think one night at a hotel is 130 dollars, you think a change price on an airline is 250, you know, 130 is nothing." She says you need proof of the cancellation and copies of all your receipts.

Meantime, no definitive answer on whether a travel agent can re-book you faster than you can yourself by phone, online or in person, but Throne says, "My clients were still at the pool and I was sitting here on Saturday for three hours on hold with United."

Bottom line, be polite. In a weather situation, airline agents are stressed just like you are. And while there are firm policies in place, there is also flexibility to help you finally take to the skies to get to a final destination. "I think they have agreements during these times of need with other airlines," Throne says. "So it does happen where they work with each other to try and get these clients home>'

We focused on airlines. And that's something travelers do as well, focusing so much on the cancelled flight that other reservations may be forgotten. Experts suggest reaching out to your hotel or rental car company as soon as possible. That's the best way to get re-booked or a full or partial refund.