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-   -   Complicated Travel/Insurance Question... (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3047480)

shburks 01-14-2013 02:10 PM

Complicated Travel/Insurance Question...
 
I have been sick for a few weeks and have some inner ear issues going on--ringing in my ears, pressure and apparently fluid in the Eustachian tubes/behind my ear drum. Right now my family doctor says I shouldn't fly. I have an appointment to see an ENT on Wednesday afternoon.

I'm supposed to be flying out of Philly on Saturday (Jan 26) for a 4 N Dream cruise followed by a few days at WDW. Flying on Southwest. I have travel insurance. I could cancel if I had to but my husband is deployed and this was supposed to be a special trip for my son and I joining friends on the ship.

I'm looking at the possibility of the AutoTrain instead. Seats look limited on the southbound route, and I'm nervous it'll sell out. But I can't book the train yet since the cancellation policy is past and all I'll end up with is an evoucher.

Assuming I'm not allowed to fly, can I still use my insurance to refund the price of the airline tickets? I lumped airline, cruise, hotel everything together. Is there a time frame where I need to notify insurance company/airline, etc? This is all new to me and possibly won't be necessary but feel I need to be prepared.

kcashner 01-14-2013 02:22 PM

If you booked thru a TA and got the insurance thru them, that office should be able to guide you thru the insurance process.

OK, what I'd do right now would be to wait for the ENT to give the verdict. If he says no fly, get that in writing. At that point, I'd contact the insurance company to see what they will do.

In most cases, they won't give you a refund on the flights because SW will give you a credit toward a future flight. You MIGHT even be able to discuss this with SW given the "medically unable to fly" situation--again, I don't know if they can or will make an exception for you on a refund. As to the auto train, you might have to be flexible on dates. The other possibility is that you COULD drive from Philly. I didn't say it would necessarily be a good solution, but it would be better than missing the vacation.

My timing on involving the insurance, at least on a "what is possible" level would be at the time you have medical confirmation that you can't fly.

It is also possible that the ENT will have a solution that will have you "air worthy" within the 10 remaining days.

shburks 01-14-2013 02:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kcashner (Post 47188686)
If you booked thru a TA and got the insurance thru them, that office should be able to guide you thru the insurance process.

OK, what I'd do right now would be to wait for the ENT to give the verdict. If he says no fly, get that in writing. At that point, I'd contact the insurance company to see what they will do.

In most cases, they won't give you a refund on the flights because SW will give you a credit toward a future flight. You MIGHT even be able to discuss this with SW given the "medically unable to fly" situation--again, I don't know if they can or will make an exception for you on a refund. As to the auto train, you might have to be flexible on dates. The other possibility is that you COULD drive from Philly. I didn't say it would necessarily be a good solution, but it would be better than missing the vacation.

My timing on involving the insurance, at least on a "what is possible" level would be at the time you have medical confirmation that you can't fly.

It is also possible that the ENT will have a solution that will have you "air worthy" within the 10 remaining days.

Thanks for the advice. I booked insurance independently (military family so booked TravelGuard via USAA). I wondered about that with SW...and I'm OK with that. I'm sure we could use the tickets within a year.

I don't think I could make the drive from Delaware to Orlando on my own. I would be the only driver and don't like road trips even when I'm feeling well much less risking it at the end of January when I might be feeling a little off with the ears. If driving was my only choice, I would cancel the cruise as horrible as that would be.

I am very hopeful that the ENT has some answers for me. Think I'm just starting to prepare for the possibility of altering or cancelling my trip.

andersonfamily 01-14-2013 04:14 PM

I had a similar issue a few years ago, and my ENT fixed me up with just a few days to go. Hopefully you will have the same results. :wizard:

su_A_ve 01-14-2013 04:39 PM

Not sure if this is the case with the autotrain or not yet - but at least a couple of years ago, you could make a reservation and pay and you would be able to get a full refund up to an hour of departure, provided you did not get the ticket issued - ie you go to the ticket window on an amtrak station, or request etickets.

Give them the a call to make sure...

If not, DO NOT DRIVE DIRECTLY. Stop halfway thru getting to PC the night before. Plenty of cheap hotels on I-95.

shburks 01-14-2013 06:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andersonfamily
I had a similar issue a few years ago, and my ENT fixed me up with just a few days to go. Hopefully you will have the same results. :wizard:

Oh my goodness...that makes my heart hopeful! I'm praying that all my worrying is for nothing and all will be fine soon!

shburks 01-14-2013 06:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by su_A_ve
Not sure if this is the case with the autotrain or not yet - but at least a couple of years ago, you could make a reservation and pay and you would be able to get a full refund up to an hour of departure, provided you did not get the ticket issued - ie you go to the ticket window on an amtrak station, or request etickets.

Give them the a call to make sure...

If not, DO NOT DRIVE DIRECTLY. Stop halfway thru getting to PC the night before. Plenty of cheap hotels on I-95.

We used AT last summer, and I'm pretty sure refund policy was as you listed but it appears that it has changed...something about canceling within 15 days of the trip is not refundable if I was reading the fine print correctly. I'm at 13 days now. Guess ill take my chances!

And never fear...I will NOT be driving directly to PC from Delaware. That would never work for me... :)

ruadisneyfan2 01-14-2013 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shburks (Post 47188544)
I have been sick for a few weeks and have some inner ear issues going on--ringing in my ears, pressure and apparently fluid in the Eustachian tubes/behind my ear drum. Right now my family doctor says I shouldn't fly. I have an appointment to see an ENT on Wednesday afternoon.

I'm supposed to be flying out of Philly on Saturday (Jan 26) for a 4 N Dream cruise followed by a few days at WDW. Flying on Southwest. I have travel insurance. I could cancel if I had to but my husband is deployed and this was supposed to be a special trip for my son and I joining friends on the ship.

I'm looking at the possibility of the AutoTrain instead. Seats look limited on the southbound route, and I'm nervous it'll sell out. But I can't book the train yet since the cancellation policy is past and all I'll end up with is an evoucher.

Assuming I'm not allowed to fly, can I still use my insurance to refund the price of the airline tickets? I lumped airline, cruise, hotel everything together. Is there a time frame where I need to notify insurance company/airline, etc? This is all new to me and possibly won't be necessary but feel I need to be prepared.

Does it have to be the auto train? Why not just take the Amtrak train from 30th St. station?

shburks 01-14-2013 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ruadisneyfan2

Does it have to be the auto train? Why not just take the Amtrak train from 30th St. station?

I live in Delaware so not familiar with Philly at all. I've at least done the Auto Train before. Did price tickets today on regular Amtrak from Akexandria, VA (have friends nearby) with about $400 difference. Still would need transport once I reached Orlando and would need to modify trip...scheduled to do WDW on back side returning in Feb 2 but they're doing rail line with that weekend and would have to bus us from Orlando to Jacksonville before we could even continue further north.

Figured for $400, I'd have my own car and do a trip I've made recently versus trying to figure out something new with my 8 yo son.

ruadisneyfan2 01-14-2013 07:30 PM

I really hope the ENT can find a way to clear you to fly. :hug:

shburks 01-14-2013 07:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ruadisneyfan2
I really hope the ENT can find a way to clear you to fly. :hug:

Me too! Thanks.


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