Money Talks:What to do When Your Flight is Canceled

If you've been watching the news lately, you know what cancelled flights look like: crowded terminals and peoplesleeping on the floor.But do you know what to do if your flight gets cancelled? You should, because even if you're not one of thethousands stranded by weather this year, you could be next year.First, whenever you're about to fly, get the airline's app and sign up for flight alerts: the sooner you learn of a problem,the better.Next, as soon as you learn your flight is canceled, hit two lines: the one at the customer service counter, and your phoneline: call their 800 number. Your goal is obviously to get re-booked on your current carrier or maybe another one.Now, airlines aren't required to book you on another airline. But some will, if you ask, especially if you're a good customer.And when you're doing this, try to be as flexible as you can. Try other airports close to where you are and other airportswhere you're going.Then there's alternate transportation. Check Amtrack, buses, even rental cars. But if you head for the rental car counter,be sure and ask about fees for dropping off in distant cities, or additional mileage charges.And finally, be aware if your flight is canceled due to weather or something else beyond the airline's control, they're notreally required to do anything except exert a reasonable effort to re-book you. They don't have to pay for your hotel. Theydon't have to pay for any of your meals or other expenses, either. Which is why you should never leave home with a maxed outcredit card.Bottom line? When you're jammed up by the weather, the best thing you can do is to move fast on alternatives. And considerstaying home next winter. I've got lots more information on every facet of flying waiting for you at do a search for "Flights." For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.

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