Tanny Weisgram wanted to cancel her United Airlines tickets to Pensacola, Fla., in the wake of the tragic oil spill. “My husband has respiratory problems that can be triggered by the oil smell,” she says. She wanted to know if she could get her money back on nonrefundable tickets.

As far as I knew, the answer would be “no” — but it didn’t hurt to ask. She contacted the carrier, forwarded a letter from her husband’s doctor, and United refunded the fare, to my great surprise.

And that made me wonder: Is your Gulf Coast vacation refundable?

The AP waded into these waters back in May, when the full extent of the oil spill was still unknown. Back then, most hotels were offering credits for guests with second thoughts. Now, with oil still flowing, so are the cancellations.

In an effort to lure customers back to the beach, AAA has introduced a Beach Guarantee that is aimed at reversing the trend.

Upon request, you’ll get a full refund if a beach within 20 miles of your hotel is closed or declared unsafe by an official government agency.

You can check out early – without penalty – if a beach within 20 miles of your hotel is closed or declared unsafe by an official government agency.

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  • Elliott

    Christopher Elliott has been called one of the world’s leading travel experts. But his focus isn’t on the destination, or ev…

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