Catering to nervous travelers

The Baltimore Sun

There's something about not having a job that can really get in the way of travel plans. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it may have something to do with vacations being less important than feeding your family or putting a roof over your head.

The economic crisis as well as the stomach-tumbling drops of the stock market are making Americans feel insecure about summer vacation plans. That's why travel providers, including airlines and cruise lines, are trying to give you a safety net.

JetBlue was first out of the gate with its promise to refund passengers' airfare in full if you lose your job after purchasing a ticket and notify the airline within two weeks of the planned flight.

Norwegian Cruise Lines, which sails the Majesty ship from Baltimore to Bermuda beginning May 24, will refund cancellation fees to laid-off workers as part of its Booksafe Travel Protection plan. Passengers have to pay for the coverage with prices starting at $29 for cruises departing on or after May 1. National cruise retailers CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. offer the Cruise Assurance plan, which will refund fares up to the day of departure for a variety of reasons, including loss of a job you've held for at least a year. The insurance policy is $35 - the retailer covers the cost of upgrading to the job-loss plan - and covers travel aboard any cruise ship.

There are more travel companies offering similar guarantees. If yours doesn't, don't be afraid to ask. After all, what do you have to lose?

And a quick note from last week's wedding essay contest: You can see details of the Bahamas Bridal Bailout contest at

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