By now, I’m sure everyone has at least heard about the unfortunate incident on a United flight last week where a man was forcibly removed from a plane. I’m not going to get into what was wrong with that particular scenario, but being a frequent traveler and travel blogger, I read people’s comments on social media and quickly realized that the casual traveler knows very little about overbooking and denial of service. In addition, it’s not always easy to find information about a travel company’s policies to find out one’s rights if that happens so I hope the overview below will help.
First, know that overbooking doesn’t just happen with the airlines. Hotels do it. Rental car companies do it, too. Companies in the travel industry have learned over the years that they can count on a certain percentage of no shows and cancellations. Then, they sell more seats or rooms or cars than they have available, gambling that there will be enough cancellations or no shows to cover it. Sometimes that happens; other times it can turn into a nightmare for a traveler who has very little recourse.
Since this is such a huge topic, today I’m just going to cover airlines. Next week, I will cover hotels and then the following week I will cover rental car companies so be sure to check back for more information. Continue reading
Next year, my Arizona driver’s license may no longer be an acceptable form of identification for air travel whether domestic or abroad. Yes, you read right. I may no longer be able to use my driver’s license to get through airport security, at least not without a second “acceptable” form of identification. In addition, Arizona residents are not alone. People in several other states may have the same issue. Why? Continue reading
My 11-year-old son, who has been flying regularly since he was 2 months old, took his first solo flight yesterday. Fortunately, while my son had not done the whole “unaccompanied minor” thing before, I had experience when my niece and/or nephew have come to visit. Also, flying all the time, I had also seen unaccompanied minors on flights so I had a good idea as to what to expect.
Like all moms sending their baby off on a flight like that, I was nervous, but probably not about what you think. My son is mildly autistic and does not like to sit next to strangers. Every other flight, he’s sat next to the window with his dad or me in the window seat. At the movies? He sits between his dad and me or on an aisle. Even on rides at Disneyland, he will only sit next to an edge and someone he knows. We tried to prepare him by having him sit by other people at the movies and other places, Continue reading