Hurricane Harvey Affects Travelers
Houston, Galveston, and all of Texas, continue to struggle with remnants of Hurricane Harvey. FEMA, the Red Cross, and local governments are focused on rescuing residents from the heavily flooded and dangerously destructed neighborhoods.
The repercussions from the storm stretch further than Texas borders. Cruise ships have been stranded and detoured from the state’s ports; some heading to New Orleans and others opting to wait out the situation and make adjustments accordingly. An estimated 20,000 cruisers have had their trips affected.
Flight Delays & Interruptions
Southwest stepped in and worked with the FAA to fly stranded customers from the closed Hobby Airport in Houston to Dallas. As a result, close to 500 travelers avoided being stranded at the airport which is closed to all traffic, both air and land.
Flights to Houston are being rerouted through the end of August, if not later. The Red Cross is currently flying relief efforts into Austin, who will be making their way to Houston from there. Mayor Turner has pleaded to residents, asking that if they need emergency response services, they should remain on the line with 911. The system is overwhelmed. However, if callers hang up and call again, they will fall to the bottom of the call line.
Trip Protection & Your Travel Plans
If you are a stranded traveler, there may be options for you. Travelers should look in the terms of their travel insurance policies. If you were set to travel out of an affected port and there is a complete cessation of services of your common carrier (for a certain number of hours listed in your policy), your travel insurance could help to cover your canceled trip. If the itinerary was changed to avoid the storm, your policy might have provisions to help recover lost costs. Some plans specifically built for cruises do have coverage for itinerary changes or trip cancellation due to weather conditions. There may also be important travel insurance benefits available if a storm damages your primary residence and you have to interrupt your trip to return home early.
In fact, if you are a Texas resident currently on vacation and need to return home due to your primary residence being severely damaged, travel insurance can help. If you purchased a comprehensive plan, trip interruption coverage could help to reimburse you. The benefit addresses covered costs associated with this change in plans.
If you’re a traveler and have questions, we encourage you to speak with a licensed travel insurance representative at InsureMyTrip.