Six Things Travelers Do That Get Them Into Trouble
Take the time to understand what you are booking.
Just because you can look up a fare and book it, that doesn’t mean you understand the airlines’ complex fare rules. The travel industry has its own rules and sense of logic and most people don’t understand it. airline ticketing and refund rules and hotel prepay restrictions. “It’s all illogical and even airline customer service departments have a hard time explaining it.
How a common problem is “’the airline spelled my name wrong on my tickets.’ Airline websites only print out what you, the consumer, put in. In most cases, if you catch your mistake within 24 hours, you can get it corrected with no charge. I’m shocked at how many folks do not review their confirmations,”
Purchase travel insurance.
“Even just thinking about travel insurance isn’t common,” said Elliott, who believes half the complaints he and his staff review could have been avoided if the consumer simply had purchased travel insurance.
“Everyone thinks, ‘My vacation is going to be fine. My connections will be fine.’ And then they end up losing everything and contact me to get help. They send threatening letters to the local newspaper, or ‘7 On Your Side,’ and that can sometimes work. But it would be so much easier if they just purchased travel insurance,” Elliott said.
Prochilo hears the same all of the time. “’I got sick and I couldn’t travel and want the airline/cruise/resort to refund my money.’ Or ‘my flight was canceled due to weather and the airline won’t give me an overnight hotel.’ In cases like this, that’s what travel insurance is for. Even if it’s just an airline ticket. if your flight is canceled and you need an extra day, most airline policies will only reimburse you up to a certain amount,” she said.
Do your due diligence.
“Read the fine print before you purchase. Read it twice, and click once,” Elliott said. “If you had taken the time to read everything, you might not even have purchased the product.”
Plan for the unexpected.
“People are overly optimistic when it comes to travel. “They think planes take off on time and that hotel rooms will be ready when they arrive. All of their dinner reservations will go flawlessly,” he said. “The people who contact me for help thought nothing extraordinary would happen, but of course, something did. Travelers need to hope for the best, but plan for the worst.”
Pack your manners with everything else.
“Often you will find people are their own worst enemy. When something goes wrong, they make it worse by their rudeness. A customer service representative is a human being, and if you treat that person, who probably isn’t happy about the events surrounding your misfortune either, politely, you may never need to contact me,” he said.
“But so many people have an event on the first day of their trip, they get really bent out of shape trying to fix the problem, and they end up ruining the rest of their vacation. If they had packed their manners, they likely would have had a much better trip.”
Book through a travel agent.
“Most of the people who contact me think they can DIY their way through their vacation,” he said. “I tell them, next time, find yourself a good travel agent, not just any agent. You’ll keep yourself out of trouble that way. A good travel advisor tells the clients everything I do, so the consumer can make an educated decision and protect themselves.”