Frequent fliers and regular readers of Consumer Traveler are by now familiar with most of the things that can go wrong with joint tickets on airline partners. But, this recent Lufthansa/United debacle for one of my clients was a new one and resulted in his bag being checked onto a flight that didn’t exist; and, hadn’t existed for months.
The problem with vacationing at the end of the year — everyone else wants to do it. While most travel agents have some clients who book almost a year in advance to get exactly what they want, not everyone thinks that far ahead. And, in the fall, options are already very limited. Here are six tips for those who wait until the last minute.
The love-hate relationship that has evolved over the years between airlines and travel agents has been and will continue to be well-documented. Airlines have never been fond of paying commissions to travel agents, so they stopped. Now, airlines are actively poaching travel agent clients.
Today experts and cruise lines themselves say that travelers booking cruises may need travel agents. It seems that they book the wrong cruise for their interests. Trains have made a surprising showing in China even though many pundits claimed that the country was too large for a successful train system. We take a look at buses that are making a big comeback in the USA as airlines pull out of small regional airports. And finally, a quick look at a disturbing story that surfaced during debates over pilot fatigue in Europe.
Determining “Minimum connecting time,” the legal minimum at which an airline will book a connection, is in reality a rather inexact science. And, as most frequent travelers will attest, it is often very unrealistic.
We all know how airline fees are going straight up. It’s getting to be an axiom that if an airline can charge a fee, it will. Increasingly, in the “misery loves company department,” the fees are not just for travelers themselves anymore — they are spreading the pain. Airlines have always charged travel agents for […]
In the “Should you or should you not use a travel agent?” debate, one argument used by the anti-agent side is that travel agents are biased and will push some products over others. The argument goes that agents will sell products that maximize their profits, as opposed to those that are best for the consumer. That’s not usually the case.
Airlines are increasingly sophisticated with their fee structures. A “preferred” seat assignment fee varies from flight to flight, baggage charges are dependent on weight and/or time of payment), fuel surcharges vary from day to day. In fact, almost all fees are variable except the change fee on a domestic ticket. It would be reasonable and a good public relations move, to make the change fee variable too.
These days, making a “simple” hotel reservation can be as complicated as booking an intricate air itinerary. With computers and multiple booking channels, suppliers can and do change rates and availability at any time. This means that many travelers learn to check and double check, to see if they are getting the best possible deal. Hotels, sometimes, encourage this behavior.
Summer may be the season of relaxation, but not for frequent airline travelers. It might be the most difficult season of all. Here are a six tips to help keep your blood pressure from rising along with the temperatures.