Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter Weather Hampering Travel

Anyone Else Thinking About Escaping to the Warmth of Alaska?

Wave Season is in full swing now and thoughts turn to warmer climates and those where it isn't snowing.   Usually one would exclude Alaska from the list of candidates, but ironically when we checked the weather tonight, we found that Ketchikan was in the mid-40s at 9:30 PM while our temperatures had fallen below zero.

Accidents, Flight Delays, Cancellations, Stranded Travelers

Tonight's newscast featured arctic temperatures in our region, up to 2 feet of snow for those unlucky enough to be near the lake front, more cold, and more snow still on the way.   This weather isn't limited to the Chicago / Indiana area, but also extending to the East Coast where a new snow storm cancelled flights and caused nightmares for those trying to travel across the country.

The following headlines tell the story - no need to repeat them here (you can click on the links to read details on the various news sources):

Nearly 3000 US Flights Cancelled As Snow Hits Northeast
Thousands of flights canceled (again) by snowstorm
Thousands Of US Flights Cancelled - Business Insider 
Flights cancelled as Northeast braces for polar vortex 2 | New York ...
LIVE: Snowstorm Dumping Heavy Snow on I-95 Corridor

Live Airline Flight Cancellations Info & Statistics FlightAware

Protect Your Vacation

When our guests book their trip with us, we highly recommend they purchase travel protection insurance in the full amount of their trip.  We've heard all the reasons why that doesn't seem to be necessary - "there's no way we aren't going on this trip - we've planned for it so long" is a pretty common one.

Tell that to the people spending the night at O'Hare International or one of the other major airports across the country as this bad weather grounded or delayed flights.   Hopefully those stranded will be able to get out tomorrow and still be able to continue their journeys.   If that flight was taking them to their escape from winter weather at some Caribbean resort or cruise vacation, odds are they are now in need of assistance to somehow join that trip now in progress.   Hopefully that have a passport because they may now need to fly into a foreign port and their birth certificate and driver's license will no longer suffice (for those on closed-loop cruises, technically you don't need a passport, but we always suggest you have on).

You may never need to file a claim or call for assistance, but the intangible benefit to travel insurance is that when it counts the most, when you are in need, you have someone to turn to for assistance.  You aren't alone in a "sea" of stranded travelers anymore.  You have the ability to "phone a friend" or "use your lifeline" in the words of a popular game show.

Top Ten Reasons to travel with the LeisureCare Travel Protection Plan
  1. You have to cancel your trip due to an unexpected event such as bad weather, an illness in the family or the financial default of your airline, cruise line or tour operator.
  2. You have to return home early due to an unexpected emergency such as an illness or death in the family.
  3. Your luggage is lost or delayed, forcing you to purchase necessary essentials, or prescription medications.
  4. Your luggage or personal effects are damaged or stolen.
  5. You become ill or injured and learn that your health care plan doesn't cover you outside the U.S.
  6. You need an emergency medical evacuation due to an accident or sudden illness.
  7. You run into flight delays and miss a portion of your trip or cruise.
  8. Your trip is interrupted due to an unexpected hurricane or storm.
  9. You lose your passport, leaving you stranded abroad.
  10. You need assistance with replacing a prescription or an emergency cash transfer. 

If the weather is bad in your area and you don't need to travel, stay home - warm and safe. For those trying to get to their vacation destination, we hope that you'll be able to do so and also that you had assistance so that your vacation isn't ruined.

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