Posted by Elisabeth Leamy, Tue Nov 26 2013, 09:24pm

A new trick for sidestepping pricy airline cancellation fees

Happy Thanksgiving! Mine was made happier by discovering a great little loophole in airline change fee rules!

We're taking our daughter to Disney for Thanksgiving to, ahem, reward her for giving up her most precious toy --her thumb-- which she sucked with fervor. (If any 7-year-olds are reading this, Shhh, it's a surprise! If any burglars are reading it, don't bother. We have house sitters!)

It's a busy time, so when we booked, we scheduled a crummy late afternoon flight that got us into Orlando late, thus wasting a precious vacation day. My husband swore up and down that the tickets he booked were non-refundable, and skeptical wife that I am, I discovered that he was RIGHT.

But! I called US Airways anyway, hoping for a miracle. And I GOT one! From God! An "Act of God," I think they call it. Due to an "unsettled weather forecast," US Airways was letting people switch to different flights for FREE! Yes. They WAIVED the $200 per person change fee. The nice lady on the phone didn't even know where the "unsettled weather" was supposed to be.

So... maybe I've just set us up to sit around an airport suffering through weather delays, but at least we have a chance to get to our vacation destination before lunchtime and start living it up! The freebie wasn't posted on the website anywhere that I saw. It's the new form of "Don't ask, don't tell." If you don't ask, THEY won't tell! Lesson learned: always ask.