Ask The Traveller: Snow problems
Wednesday 29 December 2010
We were booked on an Azamara cruise from Florida departing on 23 December. We had arranged independent flights on 22 December with Virgin Atlantic from Heathrow to New York, connecting to Miami, with an overnight hotel there before the cruise. Our flight was cancelled due to the snow, and we couldn't travel. Azamara say they won't reimburse the cruise costs as the flights were not booked through them. Who is responsible?
You were among the half-million-plus passengers who were hit by the partial closure of Heathrow for five days because of snow. Even though by 22 December both runways were open, the disruption to normal operations was so severe that Virgin Atlantic was obliged to cancel some flights that day – incidentally costing it tens of millions of pounds in lost revenue and additional costs.
Passengers who were booked on a package holiday that they were unable to take because of flight cancellations are entitled to a full refund under the Package Travel Regulations 1992. But anyone who has assembled the components themselves has no such protection, whether they have booked accommodation, car rental or, like you, a cruise. Some suppliers may generously offer the chance to postpone your booking, but there is no obligation to do so. Azamara's terms warn that "Failure to check in at least 90 minutes in advance will constitute a no-show. Your booking will be cancelled and cancellation charges will be assessed."
Some insurance policies offer cover in cases when one element of a self-assembled package fails, but most do not. Check the small print of your travel insurance, but otherwise the only reimbursement you can expect is for Virgin to hand back the air fare.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
Are plastic planes the future of flight? Heathrow expansion reopens debate over aviation's effects on the environment
Inside Travel: Greece 2015 Q&A - should we cancel our Greek holiday? Are our flights safe? And what will we be spending there?
The 50 Best European beach breaks
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
The most powerful passports in the world
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...
£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...
£22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...