online bookings

Here are seven rules to follow that will lead to a smoother trip when using online booking engines for travel. It’s amazing how much difference a piece of paper can make.

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A traveler arrived at her hotel only to learn that it is overbooked. When given another room at a “sister property,” she declined and showed the hotel their confirmation message. She eventually got her room; and not a bad one at that. The this raises the question, “When should you fight over your booking?”

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The family had planned a late summer getaway to Turks and Caicos before school started after Labor Day. They were flying from Washington, D.C., and they were careful enough to book flights with plenty of connecting time in Miami in case of weather issues. Tropical storm Isaac still caused problems.

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Travel agents have control over bookings in their reservation systems. But a paid booking made directly with an airline, on their website, or by phone, cannot be accessed by an agent. The same goes for a booking from another agency, online or otherwise.

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The roundtrip airfare from Brussels to New York on the European online travel site eDreams was €337 — until Alisa Schlossberg clicked on the “buy” button. Then it jumped to €592, creating an eNightmare.

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