What if???

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Oct 30, 2016
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#1
Okay, so this is me planning/preparing for the worst, but I live in Minnesota, so I have to be prepared! :rolleyes:
We are booked for a cruise for the middle of January. We are going to Florida the night before we cruise. I booked us on Southwest, which has a layover in Atlanta on the way to FL. So, if there is a delay due to weather, or for whatever reason we might miss our flight from Atlanta to Tampa, what happens then? If Delta has a non-stop, can I bail on SW and jump on Delta and get reimbursed by insurance?! I did get trip insurance, BTW.

Thanks!
 
Nov 21, 2014
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#2
Okay, so this is me planning/preparing for the worst, but I live in Minnesota, so I have to be prepared! :rolleyes:
We are booked for a cruise for the middle of January. We are going to Florida the night before we cruise. I booked us on Southwest, which has a layover in Atlanta on the way to FL. So, if there is a delay due to weather, or for whatever reason we might miss our flight from Atlanta to Tampa, what happens then? If Delta has a non-stop, can I bail on SW and jump on Delta and get reimbursed by insurance?! I did get trip insurance, BTW.

Thanks!
Why don't you go a day earlier...on Southwest! You can change that flight(s) without a penalty. You will be happy and relaxed when you board your ship! And enjoy an extra day in Tampa!
 
Nov 3, 2015
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#3
Do you have passports? If so, take them. I can't answer your flight question, but I do know that if you miss the start of your cruise, you might be able to catch up with it at a port... if you've got your passports so they'll let you into whatever country the port is in.

Where are you flying from? MSP? Are you supposed to be leaving earlier or later in the day? Were your airline tickets booked separately from the cruise?

Do you have the luxury of moving your flight a day earlier, just to give a little more padding to your schedule in this strange winter we're having? (And if I had to be stuck an extra day anywhere, Tampa doesn't strike me as a bad choice!)
 
Oct 30, 2016
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#4
Well, that is certainly a thought to ponder! I don't know that my friend would be able to leave a day earlier. We do have our passports (well, I know I do!) Our flight is scheduled around 11:30 A.M. I guess we will have to see what the forecast is as it comes closer. My original thought was to find another flight if SW fell through. How good is SW about getting folks on flights in case of delay or cancellation?
 
Nov 3, 2015
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#5
Southwest is pretty good, in my experience, but the trick with any flight is usually that the early morning flights have less of a chance of not going (even though delayed) than flights later in the day. I just looked at the flights from MSP to ATL -- and then from ATL to TPA -- and there look to be 5 flights you could legally catch from Atlanta to Tampa if you're on one of the really early morning flights from MSP. But as you fly out later in the day, it decreases the number of flights available from Atlanta to Tampa that day. (Can you tell I'm not fond of the Atlanta airport?? ;) ) While I'm fairly tolerant of hanging around an airport waiting to depart all day, I'm much less happy having to hang around all night and wait for the next day's flights.

Speaking just for myself, I would prefer to leave a day early and give myself a nice walking tour of Ybor City in Tampa, or hit some of the museums and relax for the day. (Really good Cuban food in Ybor City's historic district, too, if things haven't changed drastically since I was last there... try medianoches/mixto sandwiches and ropa vieja would be my suggestions... oh, and flan! ) I hope your friend might be able to get out a day early, too, and then you could both relax more.
 
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Neil Maley

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#6
You need to call the insurance company and ask that's"what if" question now so you know if the will cover the costs of new tickets.

And if anything should happen, before you make ANY flight changes your first call should be to the insurance company. Let them tell you how to handle it-don't rebook and assume it will be covered.
 
Likes: kenish
Feb 9, 2016
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#7
Southwest will do everything they can to accommodate your travel needs, within reason.

Before you leave, investigate where Southwest lands and match those airports up to your ports of call. In case of delay, you are going to want to know what your options are so you can be pro active, instead of reactive.
 
Likes: Nancy
Apr 26, 2016
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#8
I would consider flying out 2 days earlier instead of the night before. SW is pretty good about changing flights at no charge or at least cancelling your flight and holding the $$$ you spent for a future flight as travel funds - good for 1 year from the date of purchase. They may charge a higher price since your departure is just weeks day. The earlier your flight leaves out of MSP, the better.

We had a situation earlier this year flying out of FLL to PHX on SW. Many cancelled flights due to bad weather on East Coast. Our plane was grounded before it got to FLL. The gate agents had to deal with hundreds of customers. Took almost 2 hours for me to speak SOFTLY to the SW agent. Sympathized with his long day and angry customers. Kindly asked if he could get us on any flight going WEST, thinking we'd be closer to home. Well, he did. FLL to AUSTIN; 6-hour layover; and then to PHX. If there is ANYTHING I have learned at these forums is that being nice often works to one's benefit.
 
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Nov 14, 2016
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#9
Well, that is certainly a thought to ponder! I don't know that my friend would be able to leave a day earlier. We do have our passports (well, I know I do!) Our flight is scheduled around 11:30 A.M. I guess we will have to see what the forecast is as it comes closer. My original thought was to find another flight if SW fell through. How good is SW about getting folks on flights in case of delay or cancellation?
Maddy, leaving 11:30 AM the day before your cruise is generally fine. We've had too many people here who leave the day of the cruise and that's a no-no. You didn't do that and that's a good thing!

Keep an eye on the weather and if big storms are projected in Minny or ATL then be proactive as you can be. Remember though the airlines won't cancel flights until they absolutely have to so part of being proactive is keeping tabs on them and calling immediately if you see your flight getting canceled. First come, first serve. If you call 4 days ahead of time you're probably going to get hit with a change fee but that may be preferable to waiting until the flight is canceled and having more limited options.

However, you're going through Atlanta which is generally pretty good when it comes to winter weather (unlike Chicago or NYC). I wouldn't be overly concerned.

Only your insurance company could answer your question about rebooking via another airline.
 
Likes: jsn55

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#10
Four days out on SW means you won't have access to 'Wanna Get Away' prices so the fare to change flights will go up even though SW does not charge a Change Fee.' If you think you want to go earlier then change your flights earlier instead of later as the cheapest fares sell out early.
 

Carrie Livingston

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Jan 6, 2015
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#11
Maddy, leaving 11:30 AM the day before your cruise is generally fine. We've had too many people here who leave the day of the cruise and that's a no-no. You didn't do that and that's a good thing!

Keep an eye on the weather and if big storms are projected in Minny or ATL then be proactive as you can be. Remember though the airlines won't cancel flights until they absolutely have to so part of being proactive is keeping tabs on them and calling immediately if you see your flight getting canceled. First come, first serve. If you call 4 days ahead of time you're probably going to get hit with a change fee but that may be preferable to waiting until the flight is canceled and having more limited options.

However, you're going through Atlanta which is generally pretty good when it comes to winter weather (unlike Chicago or NYC). I wouldn't be overly concerned.

Only your insurance company could answer your question about rebooking via another airline.
I will echo @Kahhss 's comments and say you "should" be fine. But things happen so I would definitely monitor the weather as you get close and be aware of solutions.

If you have the ability, I might reserve a hotel room in Atlanta, just in case, if it's liable to be a busy time. Additionally, I would reserve a hotel room the night following the cruise if weather could be a potential problem, just in case your flight wouldn't leave Florida. In both of those cases I would want to have a backup in place in case life happens!

And Southwest does a very good job of getting to your destination. There might be a delay due to full flights and many cancellations but they do work with you. I'd suggest signing up for alerts so that if there is a change, you're aware of what is going on. Most times, if a flight is cancelled, they will send you to the counter so if you get an alert the flight is cancelled, you can head out of security (if needed) and get to the counter earlier than the rest of the passengers!

Good luck, winter travel is challenging!
 
Likes: Patina

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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#12
Maddy, you're smart to pre-think problems. Bottom line: best is to fly out a day early, next best is to fly out on the earliest flight on your original day, next is to know exactly who flies ATL-TPA and when on your day of travel.

While I like the idea of reserving hotel rooms, many are now going to 24-hour cancellation policies, so be careful.

You probably know this, but just in case ... weather delays can affect many flights in many cities for many hours and days, as the delays and cancellations cascade down the system. That's why flying a day early is best.

I grew up in Alexandria, so I know how Minnesotans like to be prepared - we learn it at a tender age. Drives my California friends crazy, but my travel usually goes pretty smoothly from all the pre-prep.
 
Sep 6, 2015
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#13
In the six years we have lived in Minnesota, we have never had a flight cancelled out of MSP. My mother in law had a flight out here cancelled but was resecheduled for later in the day. With the exception of this past Monday, I haven't heard of weather affecting departures at MSP in a while. I realize you are more concerned about your connecting flight, but honestly, I would be fairly comfortable with your plans if I were traveling under the same circumstances. If you can switch to a flight that leaves earlier in the day, it would give you a few more options for rescheduling later in the day if something goes wrong. Obviously you need to know what your traveling companion can do before you make a change. I hope you have a nice trip. There is much to be said for escaping Minnesota in the winter.
 
Nov 21, 2014
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#14
My understanding is that MSP does a great job recovering from winter weather than most airports (vs ATL which will shut down for the entire day if it gets half an inch of snow or some freezing rain).

My concern would be that if a major storm hits MSP and cancels your flight, presumably many other flights that day will also be delayed/cancelled. Meaning it might be very hard to find room on another SW MSP->ATL flight or a Delta MSP->TPA flight since they'll have many other backlogged customers trying to get out.

What i've done in the past when I knew snow was coming - get the airline to reschedule you from a different airport, get in the car and drive a few hours the night before to get out of the snow.

Last year NYC got hit with a major snowstorm, effectively shutting down the airports for 2 full days. I was scheduled to fly LGA->RSW. Delta switched me to BOS->ATL->RSW, I took the train the day before, spent the night with a friend and flew the next day, keeping my return RSW->LGA. It was an extra expense getting to Boston and a longer flight but it got me where I needed to be. Delta was happy to have one less passenger trying to get out of NYC. May be a pain, but maybe its worth it driving to Chicago, Des Moines, Omaha, Milwaukee, etc.... if it means you'll make your cruise.

Just another thought. Hopefully you'll be fine.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 6, 2014
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#15
If you book your flight through the cruise line, they have to get you to the cruise if the flight is delayed. No telling WHEN you would get there but they would have to handle it.
 
#16
You should ALWAYS leave for a cruise 1 day early by air if domestic and at least 2 calendar days early if international - ensuring you are scheduled to arrive at least 48 hours prior to departure. . .

you still have time to change that - and no - the cruise line is not required to pay for your hotel -
 
Likes: jsn55

Carrie Livingston

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Jan 6, 2015
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#17
If you book your flight through the cruise line, they have to get you to the cruise if the flight is delayed. No telling WHEN you would get there but they would have to handle it.
But depending on the length of the cruise and the length of the delay in getting you there, it may not be worthwhile to catch up. And on a closed loop cruise, may be next to impossible legally.
 
Likes: jsn55

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#18
If you book your flight through the cruise line, they have to get you to the cruise if the flight is delayed. No telling WHEN you would get there but they would have to handle it.
That is not true. They can help you but they aren't required to. I used to think that too but have since learned from being in the business that they don't have to.
 
Likes: jsn55
Oct 3, 2016
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#20
Okay, so this is me planning/preparing for the worst, but I live in Minnesota, so I have to be prepared! :rolleyes:
We are booked for a cruise for the middle of January. We are going to Florida the night before we cruise. I booked us on Southwest, which has a layover in Atlanta on the way to FL. So, if there is a delay due to weather, or for whatever reason we might miss our flight from Atlanta to Tampa, what happens then? If Delta has a non-stop, can I bail on SW and jump on Delta and get reimbursed by insurance?! I did get trip insurance, BTW.

Thanks!
What time does the ship sail? If it's in the evening like most of them are, you have most of the day of sailing to catch a new flight and get to the ship before it sails. Good luck.