SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A Seneca Falls woman is in tears after she was supposed to catch a flight over the weekend to Louisiana for a cruise she had planned for nearly three years. However, JetBlue canceled her flight last minute because of staffing issues, not giving her enough time to board the ship.
Jackie O’Neil says as soon as she pulled up to Syracuse’s Hancock Airport on Sunday, she got a notification on her phone from JetBlue. The notification said her flight had been canceled. O’Neil says its not about the money or vacation for her and her family, but the memories she was hoping to make with her brother.
“He has stage 4 lung cancer. So we don’t know how much longer he has. So we all planned this trip to go on a cruise with him,” says O’Neil.
Those plans changing in a matter of minutes.
“You know we were looking forward to it and then they postponed it and we are like oh gosh we hope that we get that time to go with him because every three weeks he has to have his chemo and he gets sick from that,” says O’Neil.
A previous trip also put on hold because of the pandemic. O’Neil says she booked everything including her flight through Norwegian Cruise Line. She says she does have trip insurance.
“Because it was not a health issue, they’re only going to give us 75 percent of our money back,” says O’Neil.
O’Neil says as of right now they do not have any plans to go on another vacation and are focusing on the time they have together with her brother back home. O’Neil and her family aren’t the only ones. She saw many people go through the same situation over the weekend. NewsChannel 9 has also received several emails from viewers who have lost money because their flight was delayed or canceled.
NewsChannel 9 spoke to Triple AAA to find out what travelers should do if their flight gets canceled or delayed. The first thing people should do is download the airline app to their smart phone. That way, they’ll be able to get notifications directly from the carrier. The airline should have your number or email so they can contact you with any last minute changes. If an airline does cancel your flight, Triple AAA says you’re entitled to a refund and if you have travel insurance, any trip interruptions or trip delays will be covered.
“There’s many different insurance policies and we offer Alliant which is an international insurance company that offers travel insurance if you have trip delay or trip interruption you’re covered and you would get your money back as well on that airline ticket if they couldn’t get you out in a certain amount of time from your original departure So yes, insurance would cover situations like this for sure,” says Brian Murray, Director of Travel, AAA Western and Central New York.
Even though you’re entitled to get your money back, Triple AAA says with it being Spring break, flights are full so finding another flight can be challenging. If you were supposed to fly out of Syracuse’s Hancock Airport, but your flight got delayed or canceled, there’s a good chance you might be able to get another flight out of Albany, Rochester, or Buffalo.