Statue of Liberty Scheduled to Reopen by July 4, 2013

The National Park Service is expected to reopen the Statue of Liberty to the public by July 4, 2013, according to Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar.  Liberty Island experienced extensive damage due to Hurricane Sandy.

“Hurricane Sandy inflicted major damage on facilities that support the Statue of Liberty – destroying the docks, crippling the energy infrastructure on Ellis Island and wiping out the security screening system – but we are fully committed to reopening this crown jewel as soon as it’s safe for visitors and not a second later,” Secretary Salazar said.

“Lady Liberty was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, but just like New York, she will be back – and stronger than ever,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer. “Being open for the summer tourism season isn’t just important symbolically, it’s a boon to the city’s economy and businesses, as the statue attracts millions of tourists from all over the world to our shores. I thank Secretary Salazar for his extraordinary work – he was uncommonly focused on getting this job done, and the people of New York appreciate it.”

“We worked together to address safety and security concerns to reopen the crown and now he has helped bring this national treasure back after Superstorm Sandy. The Statue of Liberty will stand as a symbol of the whole region rebuilding even better and stronger after the storm,” said Senator Robert Menendez.

The reopening of the monument will also help the New York economy. Approximately 4 million people visited the park in 2011, generating $174 million in economic activity and supporting 2,218 jobs, according to an annual report released by the National Park Service.

However, the economic boost will require an investment from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Lands Highways Program. The program committed $28 million  to roads and bridges in federal parks and recreation areas in New York and New Jersey damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Tell us — are you looking forward to Liberty Island reopening?

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American Rail System Gains Speed

In 2009, President Obama shared his plan for a high-speed rail across the United States. Whether the rail system will ever get built remains to be seen, but one artist, Alfred Twu, has determined where exactly those speedy rail lines should go.

Twu posted his design on Facebook and since then, the post has gone viral. With the overwhelming response, Twu created a petition to the White House to fund the system, and the petition has over 27,000 signatures after one week.

If the petition works and the government decides to go ahead with the project, the trains would zip across the country at 220 mph. Sound futuristic to you? You’re right, but it might not be as far off as you may think. Advocacy groups have marked potential dates between 2030 and 2050.

Overall, the project is estimated to cost between $1-$2 trillion. If this cost is divided over four decades, the government would be responsible for about $25-$50 billion each year.

To get a closer look at the map, view or download this .PDF file. And tell us, do you think the rail system will bring the United States up to speed with the rest of the developed world? Would you travel on the high-speed rail system? Leave a comment below with your answer.

Your Coverage During Winter Storm Nemo

As the most recent winter storm approach, travel plans for persons traveling through airports along the northeastern seaboard (i.e. New York, Philadelphia, Boston, etc.) may be disrupted for a few days beginning Thursday, February 7th, 2013.  While many travel suppliers and airlines are trying to reroute and/or reprotect travelers on alternate flights, some delays and/or cancellations are inevitable.
We receive many questions regarding what may or may not be covered in weather-related situations.  Following are some general guidelines – subject to the provisions and limits specific to your plan – regarding the various coverages available:

Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption or Missed Connection – Generally, if your flight is delayed or canceled due to inclement weather, and there is a complete cessation of services for the number of hours specified in your plan, you can take a an alternate flight when travel is possible and be reimbursed for the unused land or water arrangements and any of the specified additional transportation expenses, up to the plan limit, or, If this is not feasible, you can cancel your trip.  There is no coverage if you cancel your trip based upon the possibility of a storm striking your home or trip destination, but coverage is available if your home is made uninhabitable by the storm.  Call us at 1-888-885-7233 and we will be happy to review your benefits and plan provisions with you.

Trip/Travel Delay – If your plan includes travel delay benefits, additional meal and accommodation expenses may be reimbursed up to the amount provided by the plan if you have left home and travel is delayed for the number of hours specified in your plan due to flight delays or cancellations.

Again, if you have any questions, you can reach us at 1-888-885-7233.

Safe travels,
Your Friends at TravelSafe

America’s Worst Airports for Delays

Are you fed up with flight delays and missed connections? Does it seem like you’re always getting delayed at the same airport? You may be onto something. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there are ten airports where you are most likely to get delayed. Find out which airports you should avoid, and if you can’t avoid them, we’ll tell you the best time to travel at each airport.

First up is Newark Liberty International Aiport (EWR). With 23.83% of the flights delayed at Newark, you’re likely to experience some sort of delay. The best way to avoid a delay at this airport is to fly out before 7 a.m. because you’re most likely to get delayed between 1 and 11 p.m.

Next on the list is San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Not far behind Newark, 21.78% of flights out of San Francisco are delayed. This airport has been in the bottom 10 since 2008, and the biggest problem in San Francisco is the fog. Your best bet to avoid fog-related delays is to leave before 8 a.m. However, traveling between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. will most likely result in a delay.

Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) is third on the list. 20.1% of flights out of this airport are delayed. While it used to be the better alternative to O’Hare, Midway has gotten worse over the past few years. Travel before 8 a.m. for the best chances of avoiding delays because if you’re traveling any time after 3 p.m., you’re more likely to experience a delay.

We head southeast for the fourth airport on the list – Miami International Airport (MIA). Miami is a repeat offender and 19.35% of the flights are delayed. Like the previous airports, if you travel before 8 a.m., you have the best chance of departing on time. If you want to sneak in some beach time, fly out after 2 p.m. (especially between 5-10 p.m.) and use your probable delay as an excuse!

George Bush International Airport (IAH) is next on the list at number five. This is a surprise to many since the airport used to be one of the best in on-time performance. Nowadays, 19.29% of all flights are delayed. Delays typically start at 2 p.m. and only get worse. So if you want to increase your chances of staying on schedule, fly out before lunchtime.

Chicago strikes again! Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is number six on the list. O’Hare has long been considered the worst for lengthy waits and 18.82% of the flights are delayed. At O’Hare, the early bird gets the worm because if you depart before 7 a.m., you are less likely to get delayed. However, if you’re leaving late at night, you have a 53% chance of experiencing delays.

Traveling west, Denver International Airport (DEN) takes the number seven spot on this list. Even though the delays aren’t as large as the mountains in the state, 18.24% of flights are delayed. The worst time to travel is between 3 and 11 p.m. This is a great place to travel in the winter, but if you want to get out on time, depart before 9 a.m.

Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Washington D.C. is number eight on this list with 18.02% of all flights delayed. This airport performed worse this year, particularly at night. If you depart around 11 p.m., your chances of being delayed soar to 50 percent. Your best chances of getting out on time fall before the hours of 8 a.m. and between 9 a.m. and noon.

Number nine on the list is Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI). While BWI is one of the most-improved this year, 17.64% of the flights are still delayed. If you want to arrive on time, try flying before 9 a.m. because delays are more frequent after 2 p.m. and only get worse as the day goes on.


Lastly, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) arrives at number ten on the list. 16.67% of the flights are delayed at this mega-hub known as “Big D”. DFW is slowly improving, but don’t take your chances between 4 and 9 p.m. because that is when you’re most likely to experience delays. For your best chances, try to score a flight before 8 a.m.

In the end, what’s the best way to keep travel delays from ruining your vacation? Purchase travel insurance. You’ll be covered for everything from travel delays to an illness. Don’t let an airport behind schedule ruin your vacation. Try to schedule your flights at times with the fewest delays and protect your investment with travel insurance.

Safe (and on-time) travels,
Your friends at TravelSafe