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Quarterly Travel Tip — Make Your New Years’ Resolution to Travel Smarter

Top Ten Tips to Cancellation, Refund and Change Policies

1. There's no blanket travel cancellation policy. Policies and contracts of carriage vary from airlines to airline, hotel to hotel, and change all the time. It's best to check with your airline and hotel directly to find out what their current policies are before you go.

2. While it's more complicated with airlines, many carriers do make attempts to accommodate passengers. In the past, many airlines have allowed passengers to change their tickets within a specific time frame with “Peace of Mind” policies that allow passengers to rebook tickets free of charge, or receive credit for a future trip. It's good business, and once one major airline allows changes, many follow suit.

3. Keep in mind that some airlines do not refund tickets purchased through a third-party discounter, or on the Internet through travel Websites. Call the agency or packager you booked through first to see what's possible.

4. The closer you get to your departure date, the harder it is to change your travel details.

5. Most hotels give full, or at least partial, refunds.

6. Always make your travel purchases with a credit card. If a hotel or airline closes, you'll be cover under the Fair Billing Act.

7. Consider buying insurance that covers war and acts of terrorism. If you already have insurance for your trip, read the fine print. Often you can cancel the trip and get a full refund.

8. For extra protection, purchase travel insurance through a third party.

Links to the policies of the airlines that serve RDU:
Contracts of Carriage
Refund Policies

9. For traveling to international destinations, expect to spend at least $200 to change your ticket, but contact the airline before your originally scheduled departure date. Changing tickets after the flight has left is much more complicated.

10. If you do decide to rebook your flight, be sure to find out the rules and regulations. Some airlines require that you make new reservations immediately, while others will allow you to rebook within a year.

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Marketing Communications Department, Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority
P.O. Box 80001, RDU Airport, NC 27623
www.rdu.com (919) 840-7700 / (919) 840-0175 fax