How to handle four common travel changes like a pro, according to AAA Arizona

Posted at 11:54 AM, Aug 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-05 14:54:35-04

Vacations don’t always go as planned, even for the most seasoned traveler.

As a go-to source for travel information, AAA offers travelers tips for handling four of the most common travel hiccups:

  • Your flight is canceled. If your flight is canceled, most airlines will rebook you on the next flight. However, if this involves a significant delay, you may be able to ask the airline to endorse your ticket over to another airline with a sooner flight. Depending on the time and nature of the cancelation and the airline, food and hotel accommodations may be provided.  
  • Your flight is delayed. Delays can sometimes cause a change in the aircraft or gate change. If a delay causes you to miss a connecting flight, work with the airline to help with alternative arrangements. Lines at airports can be lengthy when delays occur, so calling the airline’s toll-free phone number is also an option. Be aware that each airline has its own policies for delayed flights. Know your rights. Extreme delays may require an airline to provide food vouchers or hotel accommodations. The airline staff should be able to assist you with this, but you can always look at an airline’s website to review their policy.
  • You need to cancel or postpone your trip. The last thing anyone wants to do is miss a vacation, but sometimes it’s necessary. In most cases, regular cancelation or change fees will apply and each carrier has a different policy. AAA suggests purchasing travel insurance to ensure your travel investment is covered. Travel insurance also might cover cancellation fees, change fees, and in some cases even cover travel points or miles used. Remember that coverage varies, so always do your homework before purchasing a policy.
  • Your luggage has been lost. Keep essential items such as prescription medication and a change of clothes in your carry-on bag. Keep the claim tag given to you upon checking your luggage and make sure your bag is tagged with the name of the traveler associated with the piece of luggage (not a lead family member name). If your bag has been lost, double check the lost luggage section of the airport. When working with airline staff to recover luggage, document conversations so you know with whom to follow up. If bags cannot be recovered, the airline should provide some compensation; however, it usually does not cover all the costs associated with purchasing clothing or toiletries. Refer to the airline’s policy for specifics. If you have purchased a travel insurance policy, it may kick into cover such costs.  

AAA is a go-to source for travel information. Learn more at