Flight delays are causing MAJOR issues all around the world!


I have been traveling so much the past three weeks that many nights I wake up not knowing where I am..LOL. I am so glad to be back to traveling. My family and I spent two weeks in Paris and London. Since restrictions were still in place to come back into the US, there weren’t too many tourists which we enjoyed. Not too many people sipping champagne with me on top of the Eiffel Tower.  

I do plan all of my own travel planning which most people seemed surprised I do. Since I do plan hundreds of trips a year, why would I want to plan my own? 

Simply, I want to experience my client’s experience. I use the same suppliers I book for you, and I go out with the same guides. I had an amazing experience with many of the tours I booked for us, but even I had some hiccups. To me they seemed little, but I did notice that it worried some of my family. This had me thinking, if you don’t know what to do, what do you do? 

If you read the news, I am sure you have read about all these flight delays and cancellations. There are actually dozens more delays and cancellations than are actually reported. Our clients have been experiencing them a lot including myself when I was coming back from London. A delay or cancellation is never fun, especially when you are on the plane and the pilot tells you the flight has been canceled, now get off. Yes, this happened to our clients.  

What have we told our clients to do when this has happened? It is quite simple. Be one of the first people to talk to the gate agent. Yes, that person who was tapping away on the computer for an hour before your flight and helps you scan your ticket, get to them first! The gate agent has a lot of power, and they are your fastest way to getting a new flight if yours was canceled. Ask for a same-day flight, or what can get you there the most direct and fastest.  

Now say you are delayed. Yeah, that means there is still hope that your flight is going! We don’t love delays but we like them better than a cancellation. Again, Go to the airline gate agent and talk with them about other options for connections. Most importantly, be patient and keep an eye on the flight times after your check-in, especially while you are at the gate. If you know you are going to miss your connection, head to that gate agent.  

This will all get sorted out but I personally don’t see it happening this summer or fall, so if you are traveling during this time, keep this email handy.  


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We have changed the Greece dates to 2023.  We had so many people interested in traveling with us, but still wanted to wait another year.  We want everyone to feel comfortable, so we have decided to move the dates to 2023.    

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Is 3 hours enough for a connecting flight?

Now a days with the variety of flights you can choose from to get you to your destination and the variability in prices, people have been opting for the less expensive flights with a layover.  Flying on domestic flights US based airlines make it really easy to choose your departure airport and destination airport and will give you options of layover cities.  Thanks to code sharing between airlines, we don’t have to book with multiple airlines and pay the taxes and fees twice, you can book with one airline but you may be traveling on two or three different airlines.  Even though you are dealing with multiple airlines, the original airline that you booked the flights with is responsible to get you to your final destination no matter what.

 

When you are traveling internationally this code sharing between airlines doesn’t always occur, especially if you are looking to fly a particular airline or into specific destinations.  I recently had two clients fly to Italy and they wanted to fly on a certain airline out of a specific airport.  Unfortunately, that airline no longer flew to the city in Italy that they were visiting.  I had to get them into Rome on one airline and then booked them on another airline to their final destination.  That is right, two bookings on two separate airlines.  If you miss the connecting flight, unfortunately it is on you.  So how do you know how much time to leave for connecting flights when you have booked with two separate airlines?

 

The rule of thumb is that you leave AT LEAST 3 hours from arrival to departure for international flights and 1.5 hours for domestic.  You still have to get your bags, clear customs, re-check your bags and then go through security for your next flight.  All of this can take a couple of hours. Also, there is always mother nature we have to worry about too.  She can delay your flight which will delay your arrival.  

 

Now if you are flying internationally, flights back to the United States only have one or two departure times per day.  You don’t want to miss that last 4pm flight back home because if you do then the next flight is the next day.  

If you do decide to be on the safe side and take the flight itinerary with the longer layover, you may want to mill around for a couple of hours in the airport.  Go shopping, eat something, have some coffee, or wear yourself down so you can get some rest.  Consider purchasing the airline’s lounge pass.  They have areas where you can get some rest, and recharge your cell phone and other smart devices.  This can really be well worth the money, especially if you were unable to sleep on that overnight flight and your connecting flight is another couple of hours.  Drinks, food, and a nice chair or couch to spread out on for a few hours can really recharge you. 

 Remember with connecting flights, you may think that you can make it to the next flight no problem, and you may just be able to do it.  But throw in some obstacles like slow people deplaning, long security lines, concourse changes, customs, and security and you will miss your flight.  Be on the safe side and give yourself extra time.  Life is Better Traveling when we are relaxed and on-time.

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