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Dealing With Travel Frustrations

By Expert Author: www.cheapfares.com

Looking for cheap travel deals such as cheap fares, cheap deals, cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, cheap auto rentals, discount travel deals, and cheap vacation packages is a lot more fun that dealing with travel snafus.

It is a major downer to arrive at the airport only to discover that your flight has been unexpectedly delayed. Or to arrive at you hotel to be informed that it is overbooked and your room is not available. Even more disconcerting is to return to your hotel in a foreign city only to find that your passport is missing.

The following are common travel woes with proposed actions from US News Travel:

• Flight delays and cancellations occurred at a rate of over 1 in 4 flights in July of last year in the U.S. Before heading to the airport check the Federal Aviation Administration map for information regarding delays at airports. If your flight is delayed an extended period of time, contact your airline’s reservation center to see if you can be rebooked on the next available flight. Be ready to ask about whether another airline has space and whether there is an alternative route to reach your final destination.

If your flight is delayed, you should ask your airline “nicely” for food vouchers. Be aware that the airlines provide such vouchers at their discretion.

If you miss your flight and are in transit to your airport, call your airline. If at the airport, proceed to an airline desk. Usually if the reason for you missing your flight was traffic or some type of other obstacle and you arrive at the airport within two hours of your flight’s schedule departure time, you can be rebooked on standby for free or for a nominal fee. Remember no matter how frustrated you may be, always be polite to airline representatives.

• Hotels sometimes get overbooked because, similar to airlines, they tend to oversell rooms in anticipation of no-shows and cancellations. When possible, try to check in at your hotel early. The later you arrive, the more likely it is to be overbooked. If no rooms are available, most hotels will direct guests to a nearby hotel of similar or better quality and many will cover the expense of the first night’s stay.

• To minimize the chances of your checked luggage being lost, make certain your contact information is legible and visible on the outside of your bag. Also place an identification tag or business card inside your bag. Tie a wide, brightly colored or uniquely patterned ribbon around the handle of your bag to distinguish it from others. If you know that you will be checking a bag, consider selecting an airline that has the fewest reports of mishandled luggage such as Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, or Virgin America.

Bags are usually lost for one of the following reasons: your airline routing label was damaged, your bag was accidentally placed on the wrong plane, or it missed a timely transfer to your connecting flight. Your first step should be to speak to a representative at your airline’s luggage counter.

Airlines typically track and deliver lost luggage within 24 to 48 hours. If your bag is lost, you will have to file a bag claim detailing everything in your suitcase and its approximate cost. Airlines are supposed to reimburse passengers up to $3,300 per bag lost. The most effective way to avoid lost luggage is to pack lightly and only take a carry-on.

• Americans face health risks while abroad because many U.S. based health insurance plans will not cover trips to foreign doctors or hospitals. Often you have to pay up front before receiving treatment or pay in cash before departing the country you are visiting. Your best alternative is to look into purchasing a short term health insurance plan (such as from IMG or Travel Guard) that will cover you while overseas.

If you do become sick or injured, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate so that you can be directed to the closest medical facility and have your family notified.

• If you discover that your passport has been lost or stolen, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. You will want to act quickly since the only way you can return to the U.S. is to have a valid passport. To minimize the chances of you losing your passport, leave your passport in a hotel safe and only carry a photocopy of your passport on you.

• Americans are usually arrested or detained in a foreign country for drug violations, unauthorized photography, buying antiques, or possessing firearms. To avoid any accidental violations, familiarize yourself with the laws of the countries you will be visiting by checking out the U.S. State Department’s website.

If you are arrested, make certain you contact the U.S. State Department which works with prison officials to ensure Americans are treated fairly and will provide any legal aid possible. Consider signing up for the free “Smart Traveler Enrollment Program” before departing for a foreign country. This program enables U.S. officials to better assist members with any emergency situation.

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