By Amy Johnson –
We’re in the midst of peak spring travel season right now. Whether you are going to Mexico, an island in the Caribbean or a cruise, many spring break trips include air travel. If you have a spring break trip booked within the next month or so that includes air travel, consider taking a few minutes to read the post I wrote back in November about “preparing for your trip.”
I started the day today with two clients (separate parties) calling from their respective departure airports after their flight departure times. This is never a good sign. Thankfully, I had just enough time to down a strong cuppa java to fortify myself before the first call came in!
Client # 1 missed her flight because there was a schedule change and she had not received the alert or notification from the airline (she had booked her flight prior to calling my agency for her hotel reservation) nor did she reconfirm her flight status with the airline the day of or within 24 hours of departure (as advised by both the airline and myself.)
Clients # 2 & 3 were denied boarding as they were not near the gate while the boarding process was taking place. They had checked in on time and had gone through security, but decided to grab a bite to eat. About 20 minutes before the flight departure time, they walked up to the gate and were told that they were too late to board. These clients suspect that they could have been denied boarding due to the flight being overbooked. This could in fact be true. (See the “What to do when you’re bumped from a flight” article on CNN.) Airlines want to fly planes that are at full capacity. Passengers that arrive late or just simply last may be the ones to be bumped on an overbooked flight.
Overbooked flights, schedule changes and flight cancellations can wreak havoc or at the very least cause some stress and frustration during your vacation. The end result for both parties is that they will be arriving to their final destination much later this evening, essentially losing part of their valuable vacation time in destination. I share all of this with you, dear traveler, because I want you to have the best vacation and if possible avoid any travel issues or problems.
I know that you don’t care to arrive at the airport 2 hours before a domestic flight or 3 hours before an international flight. I know that you don’t want to be bothered with calling the airline that day or the night before to check your flight status.
I understand that these are inconveniences, but (and I say this in the most gentle way) these steps are imperative if you don’t want to risk spending part of your vacation sitting and waiting in an airport for hours or even until the next day. Now, be aware, I’m going to get all philosophical on you here, but I suggest embracing the old English proverb, “Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.” I know that sounds very negative, and really not all that inspiring for travel. But, it’s the philosophy I use every time I travel. And, I LOVE to travel! (Yes, that’s with all caps and an exclamation mark!) I do, I wouldn’t be in this business if I didn’t.
Yet, I know that things can’t always, 100% go smoothly during every vacation or trip. Heck, life is neither perfect nor fair. Why should travel be? So, get your umbrella out, I say! Plan ahead, prepare yourself for a “rainy day” (think like a Boy Scout) yet hope for the best. If the best happens, then count your lucky stars and enjoy it. If a wrinkle occurs, well you’ve done your end of the bargain and you’ll be ready to roll with it.
A Room With A View – Cruise & Travel Amy, a wife and mother of two teenage boys, has been in the business of making travel dreams come true for nine years. After a fifteen year career as a dental hygienist and clinical instructor at her alma mater, Marquette University, she decided to pursue a career in travel, one of her true passions. Amy enjoys planning honeymoons, destination weddings, anniversary or romantic getaways, girlfriend getaways and family vacations. She was recently awarded with the Karisma Hotels GI Vacation Consultant 2011 Diamond Sales Producer Award. Amongst her other interests, is the joy of cooking, wine, golfing and spending quality time with her family and friends. Amy truly feels that a vacation is one of the best ways to enjoy quality time with your loved ones. And, she highly recommends “A Room…With A View!” You can find Amy at www.ARoomWithAViewTravel.com, on Facebook, Twitter, and on LinkedIn.