AAA, the country’s biggest travel agency, issued some helpful hints today suggesting that cruise passengers plan to fly to port embarkation destinations early. It couldn’t be more timely in light of potential - and actual - airline strikes. Currently, the Cincinnati-based Comair, a Delta regional, is in the midst of a pilots’ strike. Delta, American, United and Northwest are all in labor disputes.
Beyond trying to book seats on an airline that’s not in the midst of a labor dispute, here’s what you need to know:
* Most travel insurance policies will not cover airlines’ who cancel flights due to labor disputes. Beware of this if you’re booked on Comair, Delta, American, United and Northwest.
* If there’s a strike announced, don’t wait until you get to the airport to switch airlines; call as soon as you hear the news.
* Have to book one with one of the aforementioned airlines? To guarantee ultimate flexibility, book the first flight of the day and try for nonstop.
* Also, absolutely request a paper ticket instead of an e-ticket, which eases the process if you do have to switch airlines.
* Pay with a credit card which will credit your account if you can’t make other arrangements.
* And finally, fly in at least one day early - which gives you room to maneuver if a flight gets canceled.
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March 26, 2001