Updated 02/07/2013 05:51 PM
Winter travel tips and preparations
The impending storm has the potential to wreak havoc on many people’s travel plans. Delays and cancellations are expected at airports in cities across the Northeast. It may have many people wondering whether they should buy travel insurance or make alternate arrangements when planning a trip for the wintertime. Melissa Kakareak has more.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- A huge winter storm is something that nobody wants to see in the forecast a few days before a trip or a vacation. But there are things you can do to help prepare for the situation, starting when you first book your trip.
Having travel insurance can be beneficial when a winter storm hits because it reimburse you for a canceled trip or can help you pay for things such as unexpected meals and hotel stays, lost baggage or time lost.
"I would highly recommend it for travelers, especially from this area, with our weather the way it is, that's a special circumstance that people have to keep in mind," said Apple Travel owner Deanne DiRado.
Travel insurance can be purchased up to 24 hours before a trip. But if you if you wait until the last minute, like the day before a storm, your options can become limited and it may be too late. Travel agents say it’s best to buy insurance early and it’s also important to talk to experts about what you are purchasing so you don’t end up without the proper coverage when a winter storm impacts your travel plans.
"They are not all the same. They are completely different and they offer something different and they differ in price, so it’s good to know your options and not just choose what you are offered, know what you are getting," said DiRado.
But even if you have travel insurance, there are other things to be aware of. You should give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and also have supplies in a carryon bag in case you get stuck at the airport. People should also stay in contact with their airline or their travel agent in the hours leading up to the flight.
“The best asset is to have patience. Call the airlines, get updates on the flights, see what is operating on time, what's late, what's canceled. They are going to be able to re-accommodate you,” said Broome County Aviation Commissioner David Hickling.
Local airports say they have snow removal equipment ready to go for the runways.
Several airlines are waiving fees for people changing their flights to and from affected airports.