You’ve probably read a lot lately about travelers experiencing all kinds of issues this summer, from delayed to canceled flights to lost luggage. This situation is due, in part, to the massive numbers of travelers this summer coupled with staff shortages at airlines, airports, and tour companies. Some have also experienced late arrivals or last-minute cancelations from drivers and tour guides.
I want to empower you with information you can use when such situations arise. This week I will share with you some advice I’ve been giving my clients lately when they travel (especially if it is overseas).
If you’ve checked your seats online during online check-in and yet they’ve changed once you arrived at the airport – speak to a gate agent (the person staffing the desk at the gate versus ticketing). They are usually the most helpful and can do the most in moving others or asking others to move!
• Find the airline baggage desk in the airport (typically in the baggage claim area). Do not leave without making a claim. If you don’t see your airline’s desk, call them so you can start the claim immediately, so they know it happened (this is a crucial step).
• Save any receipts for items purchased.
• File a claim with your travel insurance upon return (I’ll assist if you purchased it through your package).
• Immediately call the emergency number as listed on your documents. If the delay is not more than 30 minutes and does not affect a connecting flight, it is usually no sweat! Sometimes 30-minute delays can quickly lend themselves to longer waits, so calling as soon as possible is critical.
• Shoot me a text, and I will do my best to respond wherever I can quickly.
• Alert any transfer companies as needed. They also monitor your flight information, but communicating is always best.
• Know your rights – listed here.
• Please head to the ticket counter as soon as the news breaks.
• Immediately call the emergency number listed on your documents.
• Text or call me, and I will do my best to respond quickly.
• Know your rights – as linked above
Please note: passengers may be entitled to compensation if a flight is canceled (or delayed) due to the airline’s fault. Always ensure you get written confirmation from the gate agent regarding the reason for delay/cancellation and food/hotel vouchers where applicable.
• Please give it at least five whole minutes in case someone is just parking or in the restroom.
• If 5-10 minutes have gone by and they are still not there, call the number provided in your travel documents before you reach out to me. Do this first, and do not wait longer than 10 minutes.
• Worst case scenario, you take a cab (or Uber) and let me know so I can reimburse you! Depending on your destination, protests/strikes/traffic can cause delays in transfer pick-ups.
Ask to speak to a manager (call from your room or go to the front desk). Please get me involved if they cannot find another room for you. Be specific about the issues and be honest about what you want them to do to remedy the situation – as I will ask you those questions precisely so I can ensure we get the appropriate solution ASAP!
• Please call them via the numbers provided on your documents. (you could also have the front desk/concierge reach them) via the number on your documents. They may be running late!
• If it’s genuinely a no-show, please let me know right away so I can try to reschedule or at least get you reimbursed.
• First thing to do is locate the nearest embassy or ask the concierge to – here’s a link to the list of U.S. Embassies worldwide.
• Send me a note as soon as possible. If you have provided a picture of your passport to me (this is one of the reasons we ask!), it can come in handy to speed up the process of getting a new document.
Your first point of contact for an emergency or disruption during your trip should always be the emergency numbers for my vendors/partners that I have provided in your travel documents. They are there to help you when I can’t and can almost always make things happen faster than I could since they are usually on the ground and in the same time zone.
Our goal is to be available to our traveling clients as often as possible, but for a myriad of reasons, we cannot be available 24/7(even we need to sleep, sometimes!). For this reason, we are highly selective on which partners we work with so that there is always 24/7 assistance available to you when you are traveling. Of course, we always want to be kept in the loop regarding any issues or concerns, but the on-the-ground team, and the emergency team, will most likely be able to assist you more quickly and thoroughly.
Thank you for understanding! We are grateful for your business!
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