By Amanda Roberts with The Vacation Chic
We all know air travel can be less than relaxing. Since travel agents fly frequently, they are always looking for ways to make it more pleasant. Here are some agent tips to ease your experience.
PATIENCE IS KEY.
Go into it with low expectations. If you experience delays or cancellations that require you to make changes to your itinerary, go directly to the airline customer service line and be prepared to wait.
While you are waiting in line, reach out to your travel agent. They will be able to assist you if you need to explore options with a different airline. And if you have travel insurance, chances are you can recoup some or all of these new expenses.
Travel insurance is offered at a relatively low cost compared to the possible expense of ticket changes. The major carriers charge up to a $250 change fee plus the fare difference. Insurance has other benefits too like covering for weather-related cancellations such as hurricanes and tropical storms. Also, some policies provide reimbursement for medical expenses and emergency evacuation. Your travel agent can give you a quote when you book.
Airline employees have grown accustomed to passengers being really angry. A little kindness goes a long way.
Something to note, airlines are making it really complicated to compare fares to other major airlines. Also, remember that the economy fare offered by discount airlines doesn’t include amenities like a carry-on bag or a pre-chosen seat assignment. Those items usually come at an additional charge.
To increase your comfort level on the flight, try bringing items like an airplane pillow, headphones, snacks, gum to help pop ears, a pen for completing customs forms, and antibacterial wipes. Germs are prevalent on a plane, and they can be quickly dusted away by a wipe down of the seat, armrest, and tray.
Last but not least, drink plenty of water. It is easy to get dehydrated at the high altitude. When traveling to Mexico, the Caribbean and other international destinations, you’ll complete a customs form, and you’ll have to clear customs upon entry. Depending on the number of flights coming in at any given time, the act of clearing customs can be time-consuming. However, there are many Caribbean and Mexican destinations that offer a VIP meet and greet that will fast track you through customs (some of these have VIP lounges too!) Check with your travel agent for this extra service, and you can be on the beach that much faster.
Amanda Roberts is a certified travel specialist & owner of The Vacation Chic. To learn more about how she can help plan a trip of a lifetime for you, please visit www.thevacationchic.com.