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Travel specialist offers tips to manage holiday air travel bumps

Millions are expected to hit the skies traveling to their holiday destinations. Travel specialist Steve Danishek has some advice to get them there. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

More than 45 million people are expected to fly nationwide this holiday season.

Travel operations are running smoothly at Sea-Tac. Airport spokesperson Perry Cooper says less than 5 percent of Sea-Tac flights are delayed or canceled.

But a storm moving across the Midwest is causing travel delays. Travel specialist Steve Danishek of TMA travel has some advice for travelers who hit trouble.

If a flight is canceled, first off, Danishek says don’t take a full refund because the $400 you originally paid for your likely ticket won’t cover the $1500 you might have to pay to get to your destination at this point.

The airline might offer a waiver. If a waiver to your destination is available, this should cover your re-booking.

Due to high travel volumes around the holidays, Danishek says if you’re bumped it can be tricky to get on another flight.

“It’s the holidays, all the planes are full, so when people get bumped off one flight or their flight is canceled it’s very difficult to get anywhere on any airline,” says Danishek.

You should use any available avenue at your disposal to try to get back on a flight, Danishek says.

“As always as soon as you learn your flight has been canceled, the best thing to do while you’re waiting in line to get to customer service at the airport, whatever airport you’re in, dial up the airlines reservation system by phone while you’re waiting,” says Danishek, “with any luck you’ll get to the reservationist first and she may be able to re-book you before you get to the front of the line and problem solved.”

Bottom line, Danishek says, it’s important to remember that as long as you hold a ticket, it’s still the airline’s responsibility to get you from point A to B.

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