Holiday Travel Issues

Most of us are busy getting ready for the holidays, and that may include a flight to visit family or friends. Here are some friendly tips on dealing with the airlines – which we all know can be frustrating even when it is not peak season.

  • If your flight is cancelled get in line at the ticket desk, but also get on your phone to the airlines. You have a better chance of resolution with an airline phone agent than a frazzled desk clerk.
  • If you’re planning a family trip, search for one ticket at a time. If you buy in multiples, the airlines will automatically bump up the ticket prices to the amount of the most expensive fare.
  • If Orbitz or Trip Advisor is your go-to travel agent, be aware that the airlines don’t like these sites and often add unseen surcharges to tickets bought through the price-comparison sites.
  • Know what your rights are. If your flight is cancelled, the airline will usually offer to put you on another flight. You should also know that even if you have a non-refundable ticket, most airlines will refund your money if you ask them.
  • Hopefully you don’t lose your luggage, but if it happens, don’t waste any time before reporting it.  Most airlines require you to file a report within a short period of time. If you don’t do this, your claim may be denied.
  • If your flight is overbooked, don’t accept the first voucher offered to you by the airlines. If they don’t get enough volunteers, you may get bumped involuntarily. If this happens, insist on cash compensation instead. The Department of Transportation says you are entitled to a refund of up to $1,300, depending on your ticket price and the time you are delayed.
  • Now for some housekeeping – airlines typically do not have time to clean the tray tables. Gross! Take some sanitized wipes with you to ensure yours is clean. Or don’t use it.
  • If you want to switch seats a good time to attempt that is around four days before your flight. That’s when some of the best seats open up.

These are just a few things you can do to make holiday traveling a bit more bearable. Good luck and happy travels!

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