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  • Your Canceled-Flight Emergency Kit
    Here’s what to pack before you head to the airport — literally and figuratively

    7/27/2022 2:16:05 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment

    Photo by Ben Gareatt-Unsplash

    By Courtney Beesch
    July 21, 2022 at 2:39 p.m. EDT

    If you’re not prepared to face cancellations or delays on your next trip to the airport, you may not have heard the news: Summer travel is hell. Airlines continue to deal with staffing shortages, downsized routes and summer storms, which has upped the chances you may not get to your final destination on time — or at all.

    If nothing else, the trials of this unpredictable travel landscape have taught travelers to expect the unexpected. But if you aren’t prepared to be stuck in limbo, consider this your one-stop shop for everything you need before you head out for your next flight.

    Book and fly direct

    You should prepare for cancellations and delays before you even arrive at the airport. In fact, do it as soon as you’re booking a flight. Phil Dengler, co-founder of travel blog the Vacationer, says start by booking directly with the airline rather than a third party.

    “If your flight gets canceled, you’re going to want to talk to a customer service agent. Book directly with the airline so you have access to them in case something goes wrong,” Dengler says. And, if you can, while you’re booking your flight avoid flights with layovers. More stops only increases the likelihood of travel chaos, he says.

    Booking one of the first flights of the day is also key. Cancellations and delays have a domino effect, and flying early will decrease your chances of issues — and give you more flight options later in the day if you do run into problems.

    Use technology to your advantage

    Dengler and Heather Poole, a flight attendant for American Airlines, both gave the same advice: Download the airline’s app, and be ready to get on Twitter if your flight is canceled. The airline apps can alert you to gate changes and cancellations before the information has made it to the gate agent. And once a flight is canceled, direct messaging an airline’s Twitter account can be the quickest way to speak to someone as companies continue to deal with hours-long hold times on the phone.

    Airline apps can also help you avoid lines at the check-in counter by allowing you to download your boarding pass to your phone, pick your seat, upload documents and even now check your bag. Alaska Airlines announced this week that it will allow customers to register their checked luggage before they get to the airport and transfer their flight information to electronic bag tags through an app.

    Plus, if your flight is canceled, the airline’s app will probably be the fastest way to see what other flights the airline has available.

    Know your rights

    For a flight arriving or departing from the United States, you are entitled to a refund if your flight is canceled or significantly delayed and you choose not to take another option, under Department of Transportation rules. It also applies if you are involuntarily downgraded to a lower-tier service than what you paid for. There are no laws requiring U.S. airlines to provide hotels, meal vouchers or other services beyond the cost of the flight, but you should always ask your airline what it can do. These services usually need to be requested in person at the airport, not on the phone or online.

    You’re also entitled to compensation if you have been denied boarding because your flight was overbooked and you didn’t volunteer to give up your seat. Airlines are allowed to overbook flights, and there is no minimum they must offer when asking travelers if anyone is willing to take a later flight. Recently, passengers have reported that airlines have been offering thousands for people to volunteer to be bumped from flights.

    If you are involuntarily bumped, airlines should give you a form detailing your rights for compensation, which is often tied to when you get to your final destination. Keep in mind, most airlines require you to be checked in or at the gate by a certain time to be eligible for compensation beyond the cost of the flight.

    Rules for compensation differ around the world. For flights within Europe, regulation E.U. 261 lays out compensation rules and assistance for passengers if their flight is canceled or delayed, or if they’re not able to board.

    If your flight is arriving or departing from a European Union airport, you are entitled to up to 600 euros for long delays or cancellations. And if your flight is delayed for more than two hours, you are entitled to meals.

    There is a checklist of requirements for the cause of the delay that has to be met to claim compensation — passengers need to be checked in on time, the airline must be responsible for the delay and the flight must have taken off or landed in the E.U., to name a few. Airlines don’t need to provide compensation under “extraordinary circumstances,” which include bad weather and security risks, among other things.

    Bring costly essentials

    If you are going to be stuck at the airport, you’ll want to be to use all your devices. An external battery might set you back $30 or more, but it will be worth it knowing you won’t have to fight for outlet space or be tethered to a wall if you need to rebook on your phone or use it to entertain yourself.

    Also, airport food is expensive. Even if you’re unphased by the price, there is no guarantee options will be open as airports deal with the staffing shortages. “A peanut butter and jelly is going to taste 1,000 times better than anything you’re going to get on the plane,” Poole said. As a flight attendant, she often carries oatmeal, tuna, crackers and almonds.

    Lastly, having a book, magazine or other non-electronic form of entertainment can help occupy the time when you can’t use your phone.

    Be kind

    A canceled flight doesn’t make anyone happy. Fellow travelers are frustrated, and airlines have fewer people on staff right now to deal with heightened emotions. Poole, noting her 25 years of experience, said, “Just a smile will go so far. Like a please and a thank you. Now more than ever, you just want to do anything for the person that is nice."

    “It’s just so rare to have somebody who is calm and patient and kind,” she said. “If I could do anything for someone like that, I will go out of my way.”

  • Disney Cruise Line Isn’t Just For Kids!

    7/18/2022 4:59:37 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment

    Aboard Disney Wish, guests will discover adult-friendly lounges across the ship with unique, Disney touches and delicious libations.

    Which one are you checking out first? Let us know the comments & check out our stories for more details on these incredible spaces!

    Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge

    The Rose

    The Bayou


    Keg & Compass

    Infused with more Disney storytelling than ever before, the enchanting ship is filled with one-of-a-kind entertainment and innovative firsts. These include the first Disney attraction at sea, family dining adventures themed to “Frozen” and Marvel, an immersive tour of the Star Wars galaxy, interactive virtual quests that unlock hidden magic around every corner, original Broadway-style stage productions, signature fireworks at sea, a real-life wonderland for kids, an expanded collection of experiences exclusively for adults, and more.

    The Disney Wish will sail its maiden voyage on July 14, followed by a season of three- and four-night cruises to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, from Port Canaveral, Florida.

  • Onboard the Disney Wish: A Fairytale-Inspired Castle Floating on the Seas

    7/11/2022 3:55:24 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment

    Welcome Aboard everyone!

    The Disney Wish has finally made its grand debut. Stay tune as we give you an exclusive look at this innovative and imaginative ship.

    And what better place to start than in the Grand Hall, the enchanting centerpiece of the ship?

    This fairy-tale-inspired space is a tribute to the story of Cinderella and includes a beautiful bronze statue of the beloved princess, stained-glass embellishments in her signature colors and icons from the Disney film classic that guests can discover in unexpected places including the carpeting, metalwork and light fixtures.

    So, let’s talk about the literal star of the show — the chandelier! This glittering icon was designed with magical enchantment in mind and is actually a dazzling wishing star that comes to life in wondrous ways throughout the voyage … especially when guests step inside for the first time. Every child coming aboard will receive their own wishing wand, which they will use to make the “First Wish” of their vacation during a special boarding celebration.

    This re-imagined atrium will even evolve in a completely new way during every sailing, transforming from a classic fairytale gathering space into a thrilling theater through the magic of built-in special effects. The Grand Hall features the first-ever atrium stage on a Disney ship, and hosts dedicated shows and interactive entertainment that puts guests front and center as they play a special role in the magic.

    From the grand staircase and the starry, shimmering chandelier above … to the ornate stage, dedicated shows and interactive entertainment … this new venue is the perfect space for wishes to come true. Wish away!

    Be sure to stay tuned here the next few weeks as we continue to take you onboard!

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