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 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Thailand tourism video Love En Route criticised for featuring Instagram stalker
Luggage: The journey from canvas rucksacks to carry-on capsules
Eurostar re-opens between London and Paris after person killed by train in Kent
The Atlas of Beauty: Photographer travels around the world to capture cultural diversity through stunning portraits of women
The 10 Best hiking boots
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Qualified Lifeguards are required to join a fa...
£19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in South Kensington, this prestigi...
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£25000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Partner is required to ...