Besides the billions in income, airlines benefit from travel agents when things go wrong during travels. Airlines have been cutting staff, which means less customer service. So having travel agents dealing with many customer service and flight rerouting problems is a bonus for the airlines.
The only thing certain about airline fees is that they only go up. The recent hike of legacy carrier change fees has gotten a lot of press, including on this site. However, Frontier Airlines, which has kept change fees at $100, has been quietly instituting new fees of their own.
Call me a dinousaur. I use a travel agent to book all of my flights, my hotels, and my car rentals. Not a travel agency. A real person. I have her email, her mobile number, and her work number. Here’s why.
Are heightened change fees really dangerous for your health. Ask a family that has to travel with a sick and contagious kid rather than fork over change fees and pay for the difference in ticket price for a family of four.
United Airlines, without as much as a memo to travel agents, quietly raised their domestic change fees from $150 to $200, per ticket, per change. Plus, they raised their Latin America penalties from $250 to $300.
Resort fees have always been annoying. Unlike things like gratuities that are often now added to a cruise bill, these fees are mandatory. When travelers who don’t use the phone, internet, fitness center, parking, or whatever is included in the resort fee, understandably, feel ripped off. Hard to understand, is why resort fees are growing rather than going away.
In a post last week I wrote about a problem with United Airlines’ automatic rebooking system, which when travelers were about to miss a connection, rebooked them 30 hours later. In the end, with human intervention, I got them on a same day connection and all was well. Until it wasn’t — They were flying on a mileage ticket and the return was fouled up.
Instead of calling or lining up or even going online to have an agent rebook a flight where there has been some kind of travel disruption, travelers now get messages about possible or probable missed connections, along with a new alternate flight. The rebooking systems are good but, by no means, perfect.
Travel agents and hotels get the “early check-in” request all the time. The problem is, it’s not something that can generally be guaranteed. Here’s an explanation, along with some tips to help score an early check-in.
All the special attention in the world for this very frequent flier wouldn’t have averted a near disaster on her return when her flight from Europe was accidentally canceled.