Top Tips for Air Travel Emergencies

Top Tips for Air Travel Emergencies

Stranded at the airport? Or has there been a death in the family? We can help.

Take a look at these deceptively simple but powerful tips – tips that can help you through whatever emergency you find yourself in.

Remember: the best way to avoid many problems is through meticulous pre-planning. For example, some of these tips require you to print-out documents and take them with you – this is very good advice.

Have a back-up plan, in case you get stranded. 

Flights get cancelled so carry a list of airlines’ phone numbers and website addresses, along with an aiport map – it may be quicker to find alternate flights on your own than rely on an overwhelmed airline rep. Also carry a list of airport-area hotels and rental car companies.

Look at the list below, and print out whatever you might possibly need:

Even if a hotel website says “no vacancy”, call anyway. 

Many hotels set aside rooms for walk-up customers – so if you’re stranded and the website says the hotel is filled, call anyway – you may just get a room.

Can’t find a bereavement fare? Ask. 

Many airlines (though not all) have dropped their special rates for travelers heading to funerals. But get on the phone, and ask anyway – a rep for one discount carrier said although they no longer offer bereavement fares, “we can usually work something out.”

For last minute “must” travel, look at package deals. 

You don’t have to use these “vacation specials” for leisure travel – simply find one that will take you where you need to go – and simply discard the hotel and rental car if you can’t use them. The airfare portion of these “packages” is usually a very good deal.

Courtesy counts. 

Keep your cool no matter how angry you are at the airline – remember, that overwhelmed airline rep didn’t strand you. These are the people who can help you – or maybe even hurt you. So play nice – chances are it will pay off.

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Published: January 8, 2009