Meet George Aroutian. IT guy by day. I'm pretty sure he's an IT guy on his own time, Googling and what not. But most importantly he's a hard negotiator when times call for it.
When the volcanic ash froze the airline industry in April 2010, George was stuck in Amsterdam. He immediately got on the phone with Royal Bank travel agency, who he booked his ticket with, and didn't accept no for an answer. He negotiated himself 125 bucks a day-cash- and a flight home when the other companies were saying too bad so sad. My insurance company, for instance, basically promised the world and gave me the run around until I settled on them paying half of my expenses.
The point: Know your entitlements and don't accept no for an answer.