Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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AAA tips for winter travel headaches

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: AAA tips for winter travel headaches
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This Winter mother nature has packed a punch that just keeps on coming. All that snow and ice has caused headaches for travelers across the country. Our Candace Hopkins has a few tips that can make getting to your destination a little easier.

NATIONWIDE -- "We've seen an influx of people coming and going I just want to go some place warm, here's my dates, I can be a little flexible, but I want to go some place warm, whether it's a cruise, whether it's the Caribbean islands, they're just like, get me out of here."

AAA Watertown and DeWitt Regional Manager Barbara Park says it's typical for people to want to get away this time of year, but the rough winter we've had so far has pushed the number of travelers through the roof. And it's a vicious cycle. The weather makes you want to leave, but when you try to go, driving conditions are dangerous and planes are grounded.

Recent storms have caused widespread flight cancelations. Experts say the biggest mistake you can make when trying to rebook is leaving the airport.

"If you get to the airport and your flight is canceled and then you go home and try to do this over the phone it's going to take you that much longer, so stay at the airport, work with the airline," said Park.

And once you've missed a flight you could lose days at your hotel or miss a departing cruise, and dealing with the mounting issues on your own can be a challenge. That's why AAA says booking through a travel agent is especially important if bad weather is a possibility.

"As a travel agent we do everything, we work with the airlines and our vendors directly, we work with hotels in the Caribbean, we work with everybody on a one to one basis, so sometimes where an individual that hasn't worked with an agency may not think of every option that's available to make those changes," said Park.

And the most important thing you can do?

"The best thing you can do is to be patient, be a little bit flexible, and know that the people at the airlines, the travel agents, we're all here to work with you and help you," said Park.

And sometimes you just have to accept that weather is uncontrollable.

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