Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Was airline right to fly me out to New York City for a traumatic and expensive experience?
Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Monday 12 November 2012
Q I flew to New York City on Sunday 28 October, just as Hurricane Sandy approached. When I arrived it was clear that the most of the city had been evacuated; the streets were empty and the shops were shut. Was the airline right to fly out that late? The holiday was a disaster: NYC was shut down with no public transport and all the tourist sites. It turned out to be a very traumatic and expensive experience.
Lygia Cross, Southampton
A You have been unfortunate in the extreme. You must have been on about the last flight out before the “superstorm” struck. Later departures were cancelled as the forecast storm approached. At about time you were in flight, airlines were announcing their “commercial policy” – ie what they would offer passengers booked on flights to and from the storm zone. Crucially this included the option to postpone a trip.
For you, however, it was too late. You found yourself in the unenviable position of taking delivery of what you had booked and paid for, ie a flight to New York and a Manhattan hotel, but in very different circumstances to those you had envisaged.
Was the airline was right to fly out that late? Well, evidently the carrier correctly concluded it was safe to operate and no doubt flew a lot of concerned Americans home to try to protect their property.
The airline and the agent you booked through has no further legal obligation, unless you had booked a specific “shopping holiday”. However, contact them to express your unhappiness, and they may possibly provide a voucher for future travel as a gesture of goodwill – but it will, I fear, not come close to the amount that this unhappy experience has cost.
Click HERE to email Simon.
You can also tweet him your questions @SimonCalderFollow @_SimonCalder
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Isis 'jihadi bride' claims forced sex with Yazidi girls is never rape because Koran condones it
- 2 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
- 3 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 4 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
- 5 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...
Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...