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I am scared to take my planned trip because of the threat of war and terrorism, can I get my money back?

Dear Anita,

I am scared to take my planned trip in April because of the threat of war and terrorism, can I get my money back?

J. Hossay
Columbus, Ohio

Dear J.,

Unfortunately, you cannot get your money back because you are scared to travel. In these situations, you have no legal right to cancel without penalty. Tour operators refer to this as "disinclination to travel", and they are within their rights to impose the cancellation penalties noted in the small print.

Keep in mind, if the U.S. goes to war, the majority of tour operators, cruise lines, and airlines will heed the travel warnings issued by the State Department. On February 6, the State Department issued a "Worldwide Caution" for U.S. citizens abroad, but it stopped short of warning against "all non-essential travel". If a tour operator, airline, cruise line cancels a trip because of a terrorist threat, affected customers would normally be offered a full refund, voucher for future travel or an alternative vacation of a comparable standard elsewhere. In the wake of the extraordinary events of September 11, many companies were very flexible to allowing customers to postpone or change their arrangements, or hold their deposit against a future trip. My best suggestion to you is to go enjoy the trip you paid for.

I hope I've been helpful. Happy Travels!

Anita Dunham-Potter

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