Mayor Bloomberg announced that this weekend’s New York City marathon is canceled. I cannot imagine how difficult of a decision that was to make given how tragic the storm had been in damaging NYC and how many of the 46,000+ runners were coming in from out of town to run it. The mayor insisted that the city could still have handled running the race, but he was under a lot of pressure to cancel it as people said that this was not the time to run a race and potentially take resources and labor from the recovery.
The large problem, as it concerns runners, is the fact that it was canceled this close to the race. This was a lose-lose for the mayor. If he had cancelled it 4 days ago, people would have complained that he should have waited to let it clear up before making a future decision like that. But canceling it this close to the race also has a lot of complaints as runners have already travelled to NYC for the race.
So, what now? As of right now, NYRR (who puts on the race) still has their policy of no refunds. That means if you have paid the high cost for the marathon, you will not get a refund even though it was cancelled and you had nothing to do with it. They will allow you automatic entry for 2013. The president of NYRR says they are reviewing the policy now, however.
What if you had not left yet for the marathon? Chances are, if you planned on running, you already left. But, if you have not, you still may have an opportunity to get your airfare refunded or have a fee-free change.
Airtran will allow you to trave up to 14 days after your original schedule. To read about it, click here.
If you were flying into the NYC area with American, visit their site (here) to read about what may be available to you. The short version is that you can get a waiver to reschedule travel for anytime from November 1 – December 20 (if you purchased the ticket before October 30). Your original fare has to be available. If you want to check on receiving a refund, call them at 800-433-7300
If you were flying with Delta, visit their site (here) to read about what may be available to you. The short version is that you can get a waiver of fees and price changes if you change your ticket sometime November 9 and begin your travel before November 9. Instead, what may be best is to take advantage of the opportunity to rebook for anytime from a year of the intended travel. So, if you will be running the NYC 2013 Marathon, you would get a change fee waiver but would be required to pay any fare difference. However, booking that far out, you should not have any significant fare increases.
Jetblue has some good possibilities for you that can be seen here. The short version is if you booked before October 28 and are flying between then and November 6, you can change your ticket with no increase in fare or fees if you finish your travel before November 14. If you fly after that, your change fee is waived but you will have a potential fare increase. You will also have the option to get a full refund as Jetblue credit available for 1 year or back to your original form of payment.
For travel dates from October 30-November 3, you can change your flights for no fee and no fare increase if travel commences by November 9. Or you can request a refund. You can read about it here.
For travel dates from November 2 – November 7, you can get a fee waiver and no fare change if you travel from November 8 – December 2o. If you travel after that, you will still have the fee waived but will have potential fare increases. You can read about it here.
I hope this helps somewhat. I know it does nothing to dampen your disappointment, but at least it might save you some money. Even if you were not traveling to the NYC area, you may still find something on those travel policies in case you do have travel planned in the next couple of days and are no longer able to do it.