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Senator Urges Travel Companies to Help Families Losing February Break

Asks airlines and cruise operators to reimburse or waive penalty charges.

Story by Tara Conry.

Do you pull your child out of school or cancel the family vacation you had planned?

That's the question some parents are now facing as many school districts across the region, including Long Beach, have opted to take back some or all of the scheduled vacation days in February to make up for the instructional time lost due to Hurricane Sandy and the Nor'easter.

To give a break to those families who do opt to send their kids to school, Sen. Chuck Schumer sent letters to airlines and cruise line companies Wednesday, urging them to set-up programs to reimburse or waive penalty charges for those families who have to cancel their trips because of their school calendar changed.

Schumer told The Daily News:

"We literally got more than 100 calls from people who have been planning these vacations for a long time, and now because of Sandy, they have to work or send their kids to school ... It's like adding insult to injury. These are not wealthy people. They generally have nonrefundable reservations."
According to The News, Delta Airlines quickly responded to Schumer's request, and is letting customers with tickets purchased prior to Nov. 19 and departing from La Guardia, JFK, Newark, White Plains or Newburgh between Feb. 15 and Feb. 24 to reschedule without a change fee. They also can choose to get a Delta credit for the purchase amount, spokeswoman Leslie Scott explained, telling The News that "it's the right thing to do."

JetBlue also announced this week that it would waive its change fee or offer travel credits for customers who purchased tickets to travel to or from New York Metropolitan Airports (JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, Newburgh, White Plains) between Feb. 14 and Feb. 25, 2013. These customers can voluntarily rebook their flights (They will be responsible for the difference in airfare, if any) without incurring a change fee or they can cancel their trip and receive a travel bank credit by calling 800-JETBLUE (800-538-2583) by Dec. 31, 2012.  Original travel must have been booked on or before Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012.

Other airlines, including American, reportedly were still reviewing Schumer's request. Did you have a vacation planned for the February break? What will you do now? Tell us in the comments section below.
Patrick Smith December 02, 2012 at 05:33 AM
NOT HEARING ANY REAL NEWS HERE ,WHY IS FEMA STOPPING HOTEL PAYMENT ,NOT HEARING IF ANYONE IS GETTING FLOOD INSURANCE MONEY., CONSTRUCTION HAS COME TO A HALT, LONG BEACH HAS BECOME EMPTY, HAS OUR LEADERS EVER COME OUT TO ASSURE US .NOT HEARING FROM TOO. SO LONG BEACH PATCH REPORTERS ,START REPORTING NEWS
delete me December 02, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Why don't you call FEMA and ask why they have stopped paying for your hotel.
Patrick Smith December 02, 2012 at 04:19 PM
listen dopey, i was talking about the patch and it,s bad reporting awesome
Leonard Bauman December 02, 2012 at 10:18 PM
My neighbor got only $20,000 from Allstate Insurance to rebuild, not enough so she is putting up her formerly $650,000 house for sale at flood damage price of $124,000. So many people are going to sell and take their loss. The only people making money are the cheapskate insurance companies and real estate agents.
Promal Vacations December 02, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Purchasing the right travel insurance policy at the time of booking a vacation would have reimbursed these families and teachers for deposits and payments made. Travel insurance is one of the best investments you can make when booking a vacation. If anyone has purchased travel insurance and needs assistance filing a claim, we would be happy to help (for free) you file a claim with your insurance company -even if you booked elsewhere. We are happy to assist in any way we can.
28 December 03, 2012 at 01:03 PM
It is ridiculous that some people are more concerned about their February vacations then their neighbors safety and well being. The kids need the time in school and we are sending out a poor signal even discussing this. Typical Schumer - more about the headline and the photo op - less about substance. Has he commented on the new dump at Knickerson Beach and the potential health threat it poses?

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