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  1. #1
    basil is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default more travel questions - booking backup (refundable) flight?

    Reading about this on some Facebook groups I am in.

    Seems like air travel can be a disaster lately. We are flying to Anchorage for a cruise to Alaska in a few weeks. We arrive a day before the cruise starts, but still am stressing about the flight being cancelled/delayed/etc.

    Worth it to buy backup refundable tickets the next day on a different airline? Then if first flight goes on time you can cancel the second and get money back.

    Has anyone ever done this? Any pitfalls I need to be aware of?

    FWIW we flew to Florida and back last week and all went smoothly, but maybe my luck is running out.
    DS- 8/11
    DD- 5/14

  2. #2
    jgenie is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by basil View Post
    Reading about this on some Facebook groups I am in.

    Seems like air travel can be a disaster lately. We are flying to Anchorage for a cruise to Alaska in a few weeks. We arrive a day before the cruise starts, but still am stressing about the flight being cancelled/delayed/etc.

    Worth it to buy backup refundable tickets the next day on a different airline? Then if first flight goes on time you can cancel the second and get money back.

    Has anyone ever done this? Any pitfalls I need to be aware of?

    FWIW we flew to Florida and back last week and all went smoothly, but maybe my luck is running out.
    I think if you are giving yourself a buffer of a day you should be ok. If you do book backup flights, make sure you buy refundable tickets otherwise you would only get credit for a future flight.
    for Carmen

  3. #3
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    I don’t think it would help. If your flight gets canceled they’ll put you on the next flight anyway (might be a multi stop adventure but you’ll get there eventually). We’ve had some messed up flights but the buffer you have is good


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  4. #4
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    AnnieW625 is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Default more travel questions - booking backup (refundable) flight?

    I would not waste the money. I have flown Southwest four times since last June and have yet to have a single flight cancelled. I have had two changed but they notified us of the flight changes weeks before the actual flights. I flew American once last summer as well and the only change was that American changed the plane from a Boeing 787 to an Airbus 321. A blogger I follow on Instagram (and previously knew through message boards for the last 20 years) posted that she was trying to get back from Miami to NYC on Jet Blue after the last storm that hit Florida a few months ago and she paid thousands of her own money to get back on her own and is now arguing with Jet Blue about proper reimbursement because she says she was forced to make changes to get home on her own. I honestly don’t think she will win her case though because she chose to not use the flights that Jet Blue provided. As much as it sucks to be stranded in an airport due to a cancellation if this were to happen to me I would do my best to comply with the options given to me by the airline. I have seen this past week or two people I follow on instagram have had their flights changed/cancelled or delayed by American.


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    Last edited by AnnieW625; 06-28-2022 at 09:28 PM.
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    DD L, 12,
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  5. #5
    basil is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    I keep hearing stories about people whose flights were cancelled 8-10 hrs beforehand, and had such difficulty being rerouted that they missed big parts of their trips. I guess a lot of those stories are about travel to Europe, not sure if going to AK is different. And of course there is selection bias in who posts to Facebook - People don't typically post "flight was on time, bought some chips in the airport, foot fell asleep, didn't get COVID"

    The goal would be to buy a refundable flight and cancel it upon boarding the "real" flight, and therefore paying no real money. But it would be there in case of catastrophic flight delays with the "real" flight and inability to rebook in time to make the cruise. We did purchase trip insurance, but missing the cruise and recouping the money would still be a disappointing outcome.
    DS- 8/11
    DD- 5/14

  6. #6
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Ours was canceled 4 hours ahead of time. My friend had their flight canceled 8 hours ahead of time. We both were going to the same place, same day. I recommend using the airline’s app- I was able to quickly change our flights and my friend had a lot harder of a time. Both of us had miserable flying days…11 hours to get where we were going vs 3.
    Ds1 was almost a whole day late getting to Europe after significant delays and rerouting.
    Our flight to Europe got off the ground maybe 1.5 hours late as they were incredibly short staffed trying to check people in (we were still in line at the airline when the plane was supposed to be leaving. 2/3 of the counter staff had called off. Everyone had to go through the line because they had to check passports. It was a mess.
    I still think your one day buffer will work though. Otherwise, can you move it and go up yet another day early? Do you have that schedule flexibility?
    I


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  7. #7
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    Default more travel questions - booking backup (refundable) flight?

    Our 7am flight to Maui was cancelled at 10pm the night before. (Both DH and the kids were already asleep when I got the text .) We booked a different one way flight the next day on southwest since American could not accommodate us for THREE DAYS!!!!! It was a total nightmare.

    With a cruise, I could see wanting a back up plan.
    DD (3/06)
    DS1 (7/09)
    DS2 (8/13)

  8. #8
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    nfceagles is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    I think it’s a worthwhile idea if they cost an amount you would be willing to pay if you ended up needing them.

    When you say you arrive a day early, are you saying you arrive the day before departure? That doesn’t seem like a lot to me. I would, at a minimum, assume your flight is cancelled and you are put on the same flight next day. Would you still make it then? In April we had a 3 hour flight to Orlando cancelled and we were rebooked for the same flight 24 hours later. We tried all sorts of options and airports to get out sooner (DH is a very experienced business traveler), but because of spring break there was nothing else. That second flight ended up being several hours late so in total we were 27 hours late and because we arrived in the middle of the night we were pretty useless our first day. I just got back from a multi-city college tour trip and we booked to arrive an extra day early because I knew if we had trouble it would have trickle down effects on the rest of the trip. We made it on time, but only because DS and I SPRINTED through the Detroit airport and barely made it. We were lucky our second flight was also late or we’d have never made it.

    The only thing I would worry about and check into is what happens if you don’t travel on the first leg of your original ticket. I seem to recall that you can’t simply not show up for your starting flight but still board the return trip. But I’m not sure if I’m remembering that correctly. Not sure if it’s OK as long as you let the airline know you still intend to fly home with them.


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  9. #9
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    AnnieW625 is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    I would rebook your current fights it you can and arrive two to three days prior to your cruise vs. booking backup flights. Are your current flights non refundable? If so then I don’t see the harm in arriving early.


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    Annie
    WOHM to two wonderful little girls born in April
    DD E, 16
    DD L, 12,
    baby 2, 4-2009 (our Tri-18 baby)

  10. #10
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    We’re flying very soon and Delta just sent me this offer “As we continue to look for ways to provide you with more flexibility for your travel, we are issuing a fare difference waiver for all travel from July 1-4 in anticipation of the busiest holiday period we have seen since the pandemic.”
    We’re ready to come home but we’d lose money on our lodging if we cut for home sooner (no interest in staying longer). That email definitely has me a little stressed though about anticipated problems.


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