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How to Get the Biggest Reimbursement for a Canceled Flight

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Whether it’s a technical issue or an overbooked plane, a lot of factors can get between you and a stress-free flight. Air travel is especially unpredictable during snowstorm season, with up to tens of thousands of flights getting canceled in the U.S. each winter. If you find yourself the victim of a cancellation, there are a few important tips to remember to make sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation.

As Business Insider recently shared, the most important step to take after your flight gets canceled is to contact the airline directly. No matter which company you’re dealing with, you should be guaranteed two contractual rights in the event of a cancellation: The airline must either find you a seat on their next available flight to your destination or refund the remaining value of your ticket. Airlines sometimes provide extra assistance in addition to these basic rights, so make sure to ask about what you’re owed. The reason for the cancellation also makes a difference—for example, airlines are usually more accommodating when the fault lies with them rather than outside forces like the weather.

After speaking with your airline, check to see if your credit card offers special protection in such scenarios. Chase Sapphire, Chase’s United Airlines Explorer card, and some Citibank American Airlines Advantage cards include built-in emergency funds to use on a hotel if an airline leaves you stranded. Cardholders are usually given between $300 and $500 to spend.

Travelers flying to or from Europe may be able to receive more money than their canceled flights were worth. According to the EU’s air passenger rights policy, customers dealt canceled flights traveling within the EU, from EU-based airports, or on EU-based airlines are eligible to receive €600 (about $666) in compensation plus the cost of meals and lodging. The provision may not apply to shorter flights or trips canceled "due to extraordinary conditions."

If keeping tabs on your passenger rights seems like a lot to juggle, there are websites that can help you. Refund.me and Airhelp.com are two resources that will fill out your paperwork for you and retrieve the maximum amount of whatever you're owed (keep in mind these sites do claim part of the money they get back, sometimes as much as 25 percent).

A smart way to avoid all this hassle is to book through an airline that’s less likely to cancel your flight in the first place. According to Travel + Leisure, ExpressJet, Delta’s Comair, and AmericanEagle are the worst offenders in this department.

[h/t Business Insider]

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This $20 Board Game From JetBlue Includes a Free Round-Trip Flight
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Still looking for a last-minute gift idea? Here’s an affordable item that everyone in your family will be fighting over: As Travel + Leisure reports, JetBlue is selling a $20 board game that includes complimentary round-trip airfare.

The object of the limited-edition game, called Get Packing!, is to fill up your board with personal belongings in preparation for your flight and prevent other players from doing the same. Sounds simple enough, but if you play the way JetBlue recommends, the gameplay will get competitive fast: The first person to fill their bag wins a certificate that can be redeemed for a real round-trip flight.

Winners have from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 to book their free trip. Destinations eligible for flights include domestic cities as well as ones abroad, like Quito, Ecuador and Lima, Peru. Taxes and other fees apply and travelers will still have to pay blackout rates on busy travel days.

After debuting the deal on Amazon on December 12, the product quickly sold out. Fortunately, a new batch will be made available on December 18 at 3 p.m.—just remember to act fast, as it’s likely to be a hot item on everyone’s wish list.

Board game from JetBlue.
JetBlue, Amazon

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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Meet Piper: The Border Collie Making a Michigan Airport Safer for Travelers
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Birds may look harmless on solid ground, but in the sky they pose a big threat to any aircraft crossing their path. The Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, uses a low-tech approach to the problem: a border collie named Piper.

Great Big Story profiled Piper and his handler, airport operations supervisor Brian Edwards, in a recent video. Piper’s job as the airport’s wildlife control canine is chasing away large birds that could strike incoming and outgoing planes, potentially causing anything from dents to engine failure. In Michigan, this usually means large waterfowl like ducks and geese, but it can also include crows, gulls, and snowy owls.

After he’s deployed from a moving car, Piper heads for the birds, scattering them away from the tarmac and teaching them to associate the area with predators. Piper is just doing what most border collies would do in the presence of a flock of birds, only in this case he gets to wear stylish protective goggles while following his instincts.

You can watch the full story below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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