By “SafariKay” Trotman
I love flying, but it sure isn’t like it used to be. That’s true for everyone, but especially true for travel agents or anyone who routinely flies and has to pay their own way vs. their job paying for the flight. It pays to double check everything before you book because you just might be slapped with a fee if something is amiss and you have to make a change, even a slight change.
FLYING FIRST OR BUSINESS CLASS – FACT OR FICTION!
I’ll bet there are many out there who think, with all the travel I do, I have tons of miles and get airline tickets for free, and fly first or business class. Well, let me tell you, that is the farthest from the truth. There are some in my groups that do fly first or biz class, but it’s NOT me. I may board before you, but I’m right back in that economy cabin with everyone else, my friends.
FREQUENT FLYER CLUBS
The airline frequent flyer clubs have changed significantly. What used to be 25,000 miles for a free ticket is now over 100,000 miles – do you know how many trips it takes to accrue 100,000 miles – certainly many more than I fly. What used to be easy to get a seat on a route that you’re flying used to be a snap if you knew how to do it, but times have changed and are now most often unavailable.
Credit cards give miles, but again at $1 per mile for every dollar spent, do you know how many dollars you’d have to spend to get 100,000 miles – of course you do, $100,000 dollars. If you are getting free frequent flyer miles are they really free? Not really if you have to pay thousands of dollar and probably a lot more to get that 100,000 miles.
TRAVEL AGENTS USED TO BE RECOGNIZED
Travel agents used to have a personal airlines representative that they could call in the event, they had a group, needed specifics or if any problems arose. That, of course is no longer the case, and it’s getting increasing more difficult to work out issues with the airlines, and that’s precisely the reason I no longer book air by itself.
With the representation gone, so is everything else including the commission, make a mistake on your booking, some airlines will charge you to change it, even if you’ve spelled a name wrong, booked the wrong date, you may have a change fee applied, even if it’s right after booking a flight. Usually, however, if it’s within 24 hours after making a booking, many airlines will not charge a change fee, but it’s really at their discretion.
What if it’s not your fault that something needs to be changed regarding a flight? It’s one thing if it’s your fault you gave them the wrong information. But after being in this business well over a dozen years I know for a fact that oftentimes the person who the ticket is for runs into a problem, a flight has to be cancelled or changed to a different date.
Those things do happen and sometimes it’s unavoidable. For a small business it can hurt to have to pay a fee to solve the situation. That’s all part of business, but sometimes the freebies that used to be free and are now a charge that is sometimes slapped in your face is something most travelers are unaware of.
THE JOYS OF TRAVEL
And let’s not dwell on the fact that your knees will bump the seat in front of you, and crossing your legs may not be an option, the person in front of you is in your lap, when they recline their seat and every time you put your legs in the aisle to gain that leg stretch, the flight attendant’s serving tray is in the way.
Oh, the joys of flying, right? Do your remember when flying was fun? I certainly do. I loved seeing my friends off, walking up to the gate, waiting for the plane to take off. That was something to look forward to, or to greet someone at the gate when they arrived.
Oh yes! I would love to fly First or Business Class, BUT the reality is, I will probably be in the back of the plane along with you, or maybe I’ll come visit YOU in First or Business Class! Happy Flying Everyone!!!!!