Well, somebody's gotta pay for the hotel room

Tracy Stewart, September 17, 2009
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. A coworker of mine booked a flight on Orbitz to travel from Tampa to Budapest. The itinerary includes flights on US Airways and British Airways. He departs this Friday and received notification last night that his return flight from Washington Dulles to Tampa had been cancelled, and his new flight requires an overnight in Washington. He spoke with both US Air and Orbitz and both refused to allow him to cancel and rebook his ticket, or provide for his hotel in DC. He did purchase trip insurance but we haven't gone so far as to check whether they will pay for the hotel room as it seems clear to me that this is the responsibility of the airline. What do you think?

    A. Absolutely, he should be able to cancel his flight and get a full refund. We think that if he is persistent, Orbitz will make this right. However, according to Brian Major, a spokesperson for TravelGuard travel insurance, most travel insurance policies, including many issued by TravelGuard, would cover the hotel stay. In additon, Major states, "Travel Guard's services would help this traveler find the lodging alternative and assist with the flight re-booking." Other insurance companies that offer similar protection are Access America and CSA Travel Protection.