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Let’s face it, there always seems to be trouble at the airport that requires you to fix your trip. For most of us, the most stressful part of a vacation is the airport. Unless you’re TSA Pre (WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND SIGNING UP) you’ll be presented with line after line after line, expensive meals and treats, and then you’re catapulted 34,000 ft up in the air in a metal tube with 2 wings (although it’s the safest way to travel, it can still cause anxiety).
When you find trouble at the airport, using these tips and skills to fix your trip!
Fix Your Trip: Missing Ticket?
If you booked through a travel agent or directly through the airline, call them immediately. You shouldn’t have to pay to get re-routed and don’t buy a new ticket – you won’t get your money back.
Fix Your Trip: Flight Canceled?
The most common airport trouble travelers come across, having your flight cancelled can ruin a vacation. Get right in line at the gate counter, call the airline and try to re-book your trip online. Most of the time, you can fix your trip before you get handled by a gate agent at the desk. Although airlines won’t cover weather related expenses, they’ll at least cover your hotel room if the problem stems from mechanical or operational delays and cancellations.
Fix Your Trip: Lost Seat Assignment?
If the gate agent can’t get the issue fixed, calmly talk to a flight attendant as soon as you board the plane. The faster you can get yourself heard with a request, the more likely it is that you’ll be placed in a seat similar to what you requested. In the unlikely event that you’re bumped off the flight, know that you’re protected under Federal Law and can receive up to $1,300 (for more than a two hour delay on domestic flights or more than a four hour delay on international flights) in cash or credits.
Fix Your Trip: Flight Overbooked?
Unless you REALLY want to, don’t volunteer to give your seat up. Wait to be bumped and get your compensation for meals or hotel accommodations (see above for cash compensation). You can try to negotiate perks and freebies with the gate agent, but they aren’t required to give you anything unless the airline doesn’t have any other choice than to deny you your seat.
Fix Your Trip: Airline Lost Your Luggage?
THE WORST, but don’t panic. Industry data states that only 2% of lost bags aren’t reunited with their original owner. Once you’ve confirmed that your luggage has been lost, race to the airline office at the airport and fill out a lost luggage form and keep in mind that you may only have 4 hours (minimum) to do this. Once you’ve completed that, you’ll receive a phone number which will allow you to track your bag, as well as an amount of money you can spend to replace its contents (if they don’t offer this, ask for it!). When they find your bag, the airline must deliver it at your convenience. If they can’t find it, be sure to show your receipts for transactions to replace your bag’s contents and review the Montreal Convention to make sure that you aren’t being taken advantage of (Click Here to view).