When things go wrong. 31

Your happy, excited, overjoyed – at the thought of your impending holiday.

But what happens when the Weather Gods or worse are against you?

flight cancelled

For not the first time and certainly not the last in February 2014 Mount Kelud volcano on Java Island exploded with red-hot ash and rocks spewing into the sky.  Hundreds of thousands of villages were covered in the thick grey ash.

It was hard to believe that 3500km away here in Australia we were affected as well – though obviously not in the same way.  South East Asia is our favourite holiday destination.

Thousands of people around the country could not board their flights – they were cancelled.  There is nothing anyone could do; it was just not safe for aeroplanes to fly through thick ash as it causes the engines to stall.

Of course, as soon as the ash clouds cleared airlines were up and running, frantically trying to get everyone to their destination.

But what happens to you whilst you wait for the airline to get you up in the air.

Delayed Flights

When making your flight bookings:

  • Have travel insurance.  With that said many travel insurance policies do not cover for “weather events” (ash cloud is a weather event not a natural disaster) so check your policy.
  • Ensure you provide the airline with you contact details.
  • Keep up to date with information through the airline’s website, Facebook page and Twitter.
  • Keep your cool and communicate calmly with the airline.  They don’t want to disrupt your travel plans any more than you want them disrupted.
  • If you are away from your home town and delayed overnight the airline should provide accommodation and transfers.
  • Consider using a travel agent for your booking. Having that extra person on the ground fighting for you can help.

What about connections

  • Look for travel insurance that includes “delayed flight” or “missed connection” coverage.
  • If you have connections with the same airline or airfare then the airline will sort this out.  (Please note discount carriers may not adhere to this as each airfare is sold separately.)  If you have a connecting fare with another airline then you may have forfeited your second fare.
  • If you are connecting to a cruise:
    • Consider purchasing a cruise fare.  This airfare is usually purchased with the cruise and often in conjunction with the cruise line.  The cruise line will help you out with reconnecting with the cruise.
    • If possible try to fly to your cruise destination point a couple of days early to counter any issues of delayed flights or lost luggage.
    • Again consider booking through a travel agent


A Final Note

Look volcanic eruptions are few and far between.  However, flight delays due to weather are not.  So be mindful of this when booking your family holiday.

I get that when you’re booking your family holiday you want the best deal possible – so do I.  Always compare the prices of organising the holiday yourself to packages your agent can put together.  Sometimes the agent can get you a bargain, sometimes you might like to organise some of it yourself and other times the deals with the airlines or hotels directly are just too good to refuse.  Weigh up the pros and cons for YOUR family.

Travel Insurance is something that really should travel with regardless of whether your flight delay is covered or not.  But check out the fine print and shop around.  Choose a policy that best suits YOUR family and YOUR needs.

Have you ever been delayed due to a weather event?  What happened?

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About Sally-Ann Brown

I am Sally-Ann the author of Toddlers on Tour. I am a wife and mother who has always had a passion for travel. I love sharing my experiences and lessons learned to help you have a better family holiday or day trip. Read "All About Me" under the "Home" tab to discover my story and what lead me to here.

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