Booking a flight in advance can save money and reduce layovers but leaves you vulnerable to changing security conditions. It may be possible under certain circumstances to receive a refund from an airline if a serious travel warning is issued. Richard Brooks was given a full refund from British Airways for his planned flight to Kenya.

Following a deterioration of the situation in Kenya, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have updated their advice for travel to Kenya. They are now advising against all but essential travel to parts of Kenya, including Nairobi.

Due to this change in advice, the options for customers due to travel to/from Nairobi have been re-instated for travel up to and including Friday 08 February 2008. As previously, the situation will be continually monitored and any updates communicated as appropriate.

Don’t count on most airline giving compensation for flights if conditions on the ground take a turn for the worst. The situation would probably have to encompass the majority of an entire nation or at least the capital city. Airport closures may give you a strong case.

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Keep in mind that travel warnings require careful reading and can whitewash a country without taking into exception regional differences or the entire security picture. As may be the case with Kenya.

Bear in mind, however, that thousands of tourists visit Kenya with no such unfortunate incidents. Before canceling or postponing a trip to Kenya, check with your Kenya travel agents, the airlines, or the department of State, to get more information about the basis of the warning.

Airlines around the world are feeling the crunch of rising gas prices – getting any sort of refund for any reason is getting more difficult. You’ll likely have to jump through hoops and talk to many levels of personnel; make sure you begin your claim early, otherwise you could be out of a trip and the price of a ticket too.


[photo by: Daniel Starrason]