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Weather causes travel problems for eager vacationers

By JOLEEN FERRIS

(WKTV) - The Bartnick family of New Hartford are world travelers and have somehow never encountered an overnight layover or weather-related delay. Until now.

When the Bartnicks' flight to Puerto Rico to catch their Caribbean cruise was canceled a day and a half ahead of time, Allen Bartnick couldn't believe it.

"Then I tried some other stuff and said, 'oh my God,' so that's when I realized the whole thing was falling apart," said Allen Bartnick. 

The Bartnicks not only missed the boat; they nearly missed out on a boatload of cash.

"If it was two hours later, we would have been out $3000 because we didn't have any insurance on it and Royal Caribbean it wasn't their fault about the storm," says Bartnick, whose agent at Travel Masters saved the day. 

"She dealt with Southwest, she dealt with Royal Caribbean and fortunately they gave us new flights, and a new cruise. we got real lucky so no penalties, no fees, we were extremely lucky, she did a great job for us," says Bartnick. 

Travel agent Donna Canarelli, of Getaway Travel, in Utica, has been busy salvaging weather-related vacation casualties for her clients as well. 

"We have a lot of people who have been having cancellations and they have to be re-protected. There's a double whammy right now because of the school break. Flights are already full because of next week. The airlines try to accommodate to the next available flight. Because the flights are full, that makes it a little difficult," says Canarelli. 

Canarelli's advice: breathe, and let the professionals handle the vacation-juggling.

"Try to be patient. call the airlines, keep in contact with them. If you have a travel agent, to contact us because we do have the ability to reaccomodate in our system for most flights."

As for the Bartnicks, it's not paradise lost, just paradise delayed. 

"Same cruise, same flights same everything just two-week delay."

 

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