Business Travel Agents Tips: Things to Know About Flight Delay Compensation

You arrive at the airport, your flight is delayed or even cancelled? Flight delay compensation is an important topic travellers should know about, especially when it comes to business travel. Whether it is due to bad weather such as snow, a security alert or a strike, there are many reasons for flight delays and cancellations. But whatever the reason, it means you have to stay involuntarily longer at the airport before you can travel to your destination or back home. Plus, you may be entitled to flight delay compensation or a refund. Here are some important rules helping you to make sure you are not left out of pocket and make the most of the involuntarily gained extra time.

1. Know your rights

From getting refunded for all your food and drink expenses to getting a hotel or some alternative transportation, you should know what you are entitled to. So, if your flight is cancelled or heavily delayed, you’re protected by the Denied Boarding Regulation (EU rule 261/2004 and repealing regulation (EEC) No 295/91). Unless ‘extraordinary circumstances’ apply, you can claim a financial flight delay compensation for cancelled or heavily delayed flights totalling:

€250 (£210) for inter-EU flights of 930 miles or less

€400 (£330) for flights between 930 and 1,860 miles

€600 (£500) for other journeys (long-haul flights)

It applies for EU flights, which includes any flights leaving from or arriving at an EU airport with an EU-based airline. Plus, your compensation may be reduced by 50% depending on flight distance and the ultimate arrival time. This means the reduced compensation applies to short haul flights within two hours, to medium haul flights within three hours and to long haul flights within four hours. But remember, flight delay compensation is only applicable if it is the airline’s fault (i.e. no act of God applies, such as natural catastrophes, incl. earth quakes, volcanoes or bad weather or political unrest). To claim flight delay compensation simply write to your airline stating the flight number, date, length of delay and reason for the claim. Sometimes airlines try offering you vouchers as flight delay compensation, but you don’t have to accept them and can ask for a cash refund instead. If your airline refuses to compensate you, contact the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for support and advice. Note, technical faults, unless they result from events which, by their nature or origin, are not part of the normal exercise of the airline, do not count as extraordinary circumstances.

Your right to reimbursement comes into play, if the delay is a minimum of five hours. You should get a reimbursement within seven days, for the cost of the flight ticket, the part of the trip not travelled and the parts already travelled, provided they are then useless. Where applicable, you may be even entitled to the earliest possible return flight to your departure destination or rerouting along with a refund.

During the travel disruption you should receive assistance from your airline, including food, drinks, two free telephone calls, faxes or emails, as well as accommodation and transport transfers to and from the hotel – where applicable. This is regardless of the reason for the delay/cancellation.

2. Networking

It’s always good to make friends, so why not use the downtime for extending your network. Try to see the positive of dealing with flight delays. Seen from a practical level, you may be able to share costs, e.g. for a taxi into town. Also being friendly towards the airport staff may prove helpful. Especially in these kinds of situations they encounter a lot of stressed and unfriendly customers, although the delay/cancellation is none of their personal fault. If you are friendly they are much more likely to help you, maybe even give you some extra advice.

3. Gate-crash the airport lounges

Those of you flying Business Class or being members of corporate airline loyalty or frequent flyer schemes will already be in the VIP lounge enjoying a nice drink and peanuts. It’s a far quieter and relaxed environment. This may be the best option when having to wait for a delayed flight. But if you are neither flying business class, nor a member of a loyalty scheme, be advised that in some cases these lounges are not exclusive and you may be able to access them for a fee of around £20. This could be much cheaper than getting your food and drink from an airport bar.

Furthermore, desk agents in these lounges are often authorised to make fast, last-minute reservations’ changes and there are usually far fewer people ahead of you in the queue. At least you can enjoy the Wi-Fi and free snacks (or booze!) while you have to wait. In the case of a flight cancellation or major delay, and you are at the airport immediately contact the airline you are travelling with. To change the ticket and get advice on the available options, it is best to go to your airline’s ticket desk, as soon as possible. Your business travel management company should continually provide pro-active telephone support throughout, as Flightline Travel does.

What are your top tips for dealing with flight delays and cancellations?

© Copyright Flightline Travel Management Ltd. All rights reserved. All amounts and prices stated are correct at time of publication.

Flightline Travel Management – Pro-active business travel support services for corporate travellers

Macro Environment Analysis of Allegiant Travel (ALGT)

Demographic:

The increasing numbers of people entering retirement is great news for companies such as Allegiant Travel who services are geared towards leisure travelers. The retired population generally has more flexible schedules and free time for leisure travel. The restaurant industry has known for years that the retired population will adjust their schedules just to save a buck. Look at the success of “early bird specials” all across the country. Allegiant Travel can capitalize on this population’s flexible schedules and interest in finding the best price. Twenty-one percent of leisure travelers were born before 1946 and of this group it is estimated that they each take 4.1 trips per year. In addition, older baby boomers born between 1946-1954 makeups another 15 percent of the leisure travel population. As the U.S. population continues to age and the retired population grows it can be expected that the demand for inexpensive leisure travel will also increase.

Economic:

The economy plays an important role in the health of all companies and very few can say that these last 5 years have been easy. American’s are found to be thriftier now than 5 years ago thanks to the economic recession. In general, the nature of spending has changed in America. A report by Fidelity investments show that personal debt is down and investments are up. This shows that the population on a whole is examining their purchases more closely than they did before the recession. The focus on cutting costs during these uncertain economic times has led to Allegiant Travel’s success over the past 5 years when other airlines were losing money. They have focused on keeping costs down and providing their services at the lowest price point. This focus on innovation and being a price leader has provided Allegiant Travel with a strategic advantage over other larger carriers. Although in most sectors the larger the company the lower the costs due to economies of scale, this is not the case in the airline business.

Socio Cultural:

The travel industry groups travelers into one of two categories either leisure or business. Each type of traveler has very unique needs and different goals in mind apart from the desire to have a safe enjoyable flight experience. It is estimated that leisure travelers account for 3/ 4 of all domestic trips taken in 2011. The regular business traveler is interested in consistent schedules and enjoys the perks of earning points whereas leisure travelers only books a few trips per year and are willing to give up points to secure a lower price. This is the market that Allegiant Travel is focused towards as they are the low cost leader who runs variable schedules throughout the season to ensure flights are always running to their fullest capacity.

Political-Regulatory:

Airlines operating within the United States are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation who regulates civil aviation within the U.S. The Homeland Security Agency also plays an active role in airline travel interacting directly with all passengers prior to boarding the aircraft. The added security precautions mandatory for travelers since 9/11 can be a major factor behind the increased frustrations voiced by travelers. The U.S. Travel Association’s study in 2008 showed that travelers avoided approximately 41 million trips within a 12 month period due to perceived air travel hassle. Although airlines such as Allegiant Travel do not have control over how Homeland Security does their job they are able to lobby for more efficient airport security which can in turn help increase their profits.

Environment:

The rise in environmental consciousness impacts traveler’s decision making. More than 79% of U.S. adults claim to be environmentally-conscious and familiar with carbon footprints and global warming. Although travelers are starting to be more conscientious of their decision making and its impact on the environment they are not yet willing to pay a premium for environmentally-friendly service providers. The current determination is that in general, driving is more eco-friendly (measuring greenhouse gases) compared to flying. Although gas prices averaged at $3.78 a gallon many travelers may find it cheaper to fly than drive and stay in a hotel. The addition of saving time may also help convince environmentally-conscious travelers to fly rather than drive cross country.

Technology:

The increase of access to information through the internet over the years has created savvy shoppers who can compare dozens of prices quickly online and has created more focus on price competition. The internet has also decreased the dependency on traveler’s utilizing travel agencies to arrange travel as they feel more comfortable booking directly online. This puts Allegiant Travel at an advantage as they are able to offer competitive prices through booking directly with the customers and avoiding any middle men such as websites like Expedia.com or Yahoo.com.

In conclusion, Allegiant Travel is a solid company that is strategically positioned to thrive in any environment. They have shown their agility in changing with the market demand over the past six years. Allegiant Travels focus on servicing the price conscious traveler seems to be a smart approach as they understand that consumers are still hesitant with their spending even as the economy is improving. The expected increase to the retired population in the coming years will also bode well for Allegiant Travel. As long as Allegiant Travel continues to focus on strategic growth that will allow them to move quickly when they see an opportunity or threat coming their way they are set for a successful future.

Reflections of Travel to Northeast Asia

As a four-decade Certified Travel Agent, international airline employee, researcher, writer, teacher, and photographer, travel, whether for pleasure or business purposes, has always been a significant and an integral part of my life. Some 400 trips to every portion of the globe, by means of road, rail, sea, and air, entailed destinations both mundane and exotic. This article focuses on those in Northeast Asia.

Hong Kong:

A trip to Hong Kong offered an opportunity to experience the destination while it was still under British rule.

Rising like modern monoliths of concrete, steel and sun-glinted glass skyscrapers occupied every inch of the city on both its Hong Kong Island and Kowloon sides, which were separated by Victoria Harbor. Bridged on the surface by frequent, Star Ferry crossings and below by traffic-and subway-boring tunnels, these bustling, commerce-concerned metropolises tried to blend modern and ancient, and western and eastern culture, yet retain a hold on its past. A walk up to an extensive breakfast buffet, for instance, meant the typically expected fare, but also featured Chinese offerings, such as dim sum.

My sightseeing strategy entailed an ever-expanded encompassment area.

Attractions included the Suzie Wong district of Wanchai; Deep Water Bay; and Repulse Bay with its beaches; the Stanley Market, once part of a fishing and farming village and now a residential area whose sprawling complex of shops and stands displayed bargain-priced commodities, such as designer clothes, porcelain wares, bamboo, and rattan. Aberdeen, fisherman-inhabited and water-littered with junks and sampans, certainly emphasized the city’s origins, and a tram ascent up Victoria Peak, which rose from 80-foot Garden Road to 1,305-foot Peak Tower, offering new perspectives.

The Sung Dynasty Village, a recreated, period-dress representation of Bian Jing, China’s capital during the Sung Dynasty (960 to 1279 AD), offered a return to the country’s ancient, cultural past. Entered through its time portal main gate, it afforded a multi-sense immersion by means of architecture, customs, food, and shops that sold everything from incense and fans to silks, handicrafts, and wood carvings in a layout of streets, a stream-spanning wooden bridge, and triumphal arches. Live performances solidified the experience.

Considered “the land between,” New Territories, 15 miles north of Kowloon’s bustling waterfront, office skyscrapers, and gleaming hotels, was an area of rolling, green hills, neatly terraced fields, rural markets, and fishing villages. It shared Hong Kong’s then-border with Communist China.

Visits here were to Chuk Lan Sim Yuen, Tai Mo Shan, the tallest mountain, and Luen Wo Market.

Lunch, in the Yucca de Lac Restaurant overlooking the Tao Harbour, included corn soup with bean curds, green kale in oyster sauce, beef and pickles in a yam nest, fried chicken with lemon sauce, spare ribs with champagne and tangerine sauce, diced pork with cashew nuts, fried rice with ham, and ice cream.

Two day-trips brought beyond-Hong Kong perspectives.

The first, to Macau–the “Eastern Monte Carlo” –required a 40-mile, jetfoil-bridged journey to the Portuguese community, which was founded more than 400 years ago by Portuguese traders and missionaries to serve as an entrepôt with Imperial China and Japan. Now a blend of Chinese and Portuguese cultures, it was awash with pastel-colored palaces, baroque churches, temples, cannon-sporting fortresses, and winding narrow streets.

Its attractions, an interchange between Eastern and Western cultures, included St. Paul’s ruins, the Ken Iam Temple, the Border Gate with China, and Penha Hill.

After lunch in the Hotel Lisboa, there was time for a pass through the casino.

The second excursion offered a taste of Communist Chinese life. A hovercraft trip to the Shenzhan Special Economic Zone-specifically to Shekou on the Pearl River statuary and west of Shenzhen City–provided personal inspection of the Terracotta Warrior and Horse exhibition, dating to the Tang Dynasty and now considered the 8th Wonder of the World, along with a visit to the local kindergarten, followed by a performance of its incredibly disciplined students.

A subsequent drive through Nan Tau to Dongguan, one of the oldest counties in Dongguan Province, was rewarded with a superb, multi-course Chinese lunch, and was followed by the continued journey to Guangzhou, formerly known as “Canton,” but still the center of political, exonymic, and cultural life in Southern China. Its own attractions encompassed the Guangzhou Zoo, the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, an octagonal building designed in palatial style to honor the politician, physician, and political philosopher who served as the provisional first present of the Republic of China.

The experience was capped by dinner in the dining car of the Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR) during the return journey. But a sign of the earlier times was expressed by the tour guide, who, opening crossing the no longer existent border, blurted, “Relax, everyone. We’re in Hong Kong. We can breathe again!”

People’s Republic of China:

Beijing, gateway to the Peoples’ Republic of China, was in a state of flux. Still wrestling with the problems of modernization and struggling to balance rapid growth with environmental protection to preserve its cultural, architectural, and historical heritage, it strove to respond to the demands of advancement and westernize itself without losing the Chinese foundation upon which it was built.

Its rich sights offered mental, emotional, and psychological exposure to its past.

First and foremost was the Forbidden City, the largest ancient archaeological structure in China. Once the Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties where 24 monarchs from both ruled the Celestial Empire, and laid out according to the ancient principles of geomancy, it was the heart of Beijing and the proverbial center of the universe for the emperors. Its wooden structures were living examples of ancient Chinese architecture and retained much of the mystique of the rulers who once dwelled there. As a bastion of the Mandarin authority, it exuded size, significance, and magnificence, its pavilions and spacious courtyards both awe-inspiring and, at times, unfathomable.

Constructed as a result of a decree issued by Zhu Di in 1406 by an estimated one million laborers and completed 14 years later, it became the capital to today’s Beijing after it was transferred from Nanjing. But it was almost entirely rebuilt under the Manchu Qing Dynasty, which began its own reign in 1644.

Now surrounded by a ten-meter wall and a moat, it encompassed 72 hectares and contained more than 800 individual structures. “Wumen,” or its “Maiden Gate,” served as the entrance to its inner sanctum, beyond which a large courtyard opened up to a canal spanned by multiple marble bridges.

The outer palace consisted of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Central Harmony, and the Hall of Preserving Harmony.

Through the Gate of Heavenly Purity was the inner palace, comprised of exquisite buildings and a labyrinth of courtyards. It was the living location of the emperor and his entourage.

Located south of the Forbidden City and north of the old Front Gate was the famed Tiananmen Square, the world’s largest such expanse and the location from which Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the Peoples’ Republic of China in 1949.

In its center was the 40-meter-high Monument to the People’s Heroes and on its western side was the site of China’s national Congress, the Great Hall of the People. To its south was Mao Zedong’s Mausoleum.

The highly recognizable Temple of Heaven, located in a pristine park setting, consisted of the round temple itself, adorned with a blue-tiled roof and a gold knob. Constructed without the use of a single nail during the Ming Dynasty in circa 1420, it was rebuilt more than 400 years later in 1889 after a lightning strike destroyed the original one. It was visited every winter solstice by the emperor, who prayed for a bountiful succeeding-season harvest, and he offered sacrifices of animals, grains, and silk to the gods in exchange for it during the sun’s first ray-reach of the eastern horizon

The Summer Palace, constructed by the Manchu Qing emperors as an escape from the summer heat, was set in a classical Imperial garden of embracing hills and lakes. Despite its associated serenity, however, it suffered numerous attacks and partial destructions, such as those by British and French troops who marched on Beijing in 1860 during the Second Opium War.

“Hutongs,” a word that was Mongolian in origin and dated from the days when Kublai Khan used Beijing as the capital of the Chinese portion of his empire, were not considered specific sights or location. Instead, they comprised a patchwork of walled, single-story courtyard dwellings that were removed from the noise and chaos of the modern city. Local life slowly unfolded here: the elderly napped; children played; and women hung out their laundry to dry. Quiet and insular, they provided insight into the Beijing psyche.

The Great Wall, the most ancient and longest manmade structure and the only one visible from the moon with the naked eye, was one of the very symbols of China and a testament to is architectural achievement. Its sheer span and construction, especially during primitive-technology times, was staggering and mindboggling.

Built to protect the northern frontiers from nomadic steppe raiders, it represents many things to many people.

“To some, the Wall stands for the blood and sweat sacrificed by the toiling masses who built it in the service of emperors, while to others this de facto demarcation between the Steppe and the Sown represents an age-old struggle of civilization against savagery,” according to Beijing: The Insider’s Guide to the Best of the Capital (Chinanow.com, 2000, p. 24).

Qin Shi Huang, the ruler of one of the many rival Warring States, linked the various sections of it upon completion of his conquest in 221 B.C., creating the first Chinese empire and the definitive Great Wall in the process.

Although the original assembly was mostly a rammed earthen wall, none of whose remains exist today, the current crenelated, guard signal tower, and parapet-provisioned masonry rendition, erected during the Ming Dynasty, closely follows its contours, threading its way up and through velvet green mountains with stone steps like stationary railroad tracks, plied only by people.

“Most of the wall is about 25 feet high and 19 feet wide at the top, (sufficient for either a five-abreast mounted solider passage or a ten-abreast marching one),” according to Beijing: The Insider’s Guide to the Best of the Capital (ibid, p. 25). “It includes about 25,000 towers, spaced two arrow-shots apart so that the guards could defend its entire length, and extends-though not continuously-from the Yellow Sea to the Gobi Desert.”

I attempted climbs in two sections. The first, in the tourist-overrun Badaling section, offered a glimpse into Chinese values. My mother, not quite up to the trek, elected to remain behind, but several locals, strongly revering the elderly, quickly volunteered, “Go and climb the Great Wall,” they told me. “We’ll look after your mother.” And they did, with care, concern, and extreme respect. She felt very protected and safe.

The second climb, which can only be considered the effortless one, was to the top of the Simatai section in a gondola for a beautiful view.

Another area attraction was the Ming Tombs, the burial place for 13 of the 16 Ming Dynasty emperors and threshold to which was the marble archway erected in 1540. Three such burial sites were open to the public: Changling, the earliest and largest, which dates form 1413; Dingling, which was built in the 16th century for the Emperor Wan Li and was excavated in 1958; and Zhaoling.

My final sightseeing venture entailed an unleash at the expansive China Aviation Museum. Almost like a kid in a candy shop as an aviation author and photographer, I roamed the outdoor displays of rare, Russian aircraft once hidden from the West and still wearing the livery of their communist Chinese carrier, CAAC, with camera and notebook in hand, inspecting their cockpits and walking through their passenger cabins.

Japan:

Although Japan could only be experienced during a single-day interlude, I felt its pulse in downtown Tokyo, particularly at its crowd-thronged railroad station, where the masses moved from platform to the shinkansen, or bullet trains. My hotel room was tiny. Prices were high. Signs in Japanese left little interpretability. And I was somehow infused with the subconscious desire to follow local etiquette and bow to those with whom I interacted.

Korea:

Korea offered another oriental, almost dual-world experience between its bustling Seoul metropolis and the palatial serenity of its past.

My own hotel, only a ten-minute drive to the city’s heart in Bukhansan National Park, itself seemed a world apart with its verdant, velvet hills and waterfalls. The included breakfast buffet was sprawling and, in part, western, but its always-available kiimchi said “Korea.” The daily coverage of its attractions entailed a combination of shuttle bus, tour bus, subway, and foot.

Taking center stage was the Gyeongbokgung Palace, the principle royal one during the five-decade Joseon Dynasty. Constructed in 1395, it was consumed by fire during the Imjin War (1592-1598). However, all of the palace buildings were later restored under the leadership of Heungseondaewongun during the reign of King Gojong (1852-1919). As the most representative edifices of the period, its Gyeonghoeru Pavilion and the pond around Hyangwonjeong Pavillion have remained relatively intact. The raised dias and stone markers of Geunjeongjeon showcase the representative art style of their time.

Jogyesa, the main temple of the Jogye order in Seoul, was the center of Korean Buddhism. Built in the late 14th-century during the Goryeo period, it was later reduced to rubble by fire, but was subsequently reconstructed under the name of Gackhwangsa Temple in 1910 by monks, such as Han Yong-un and Lee Hee-gwang. Renamed “Tegosa” in 1936, it became the main Korean Buddhist temple. After a purification drive eliminated Japanese influence and revived traditional Buddhism, the present one was established.

Tranquility restored the soul at Changdeokgung and in its Secret Garden, the primary royal residence for 200 years, beginning in early-1600s, and now considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its intertwining paths, linking wooden slopes, lotus ponds, and pavilions.

Namdaemun, located in Jung-gu between Seoul Station and Seoul Plaza and presently known as the Sungnyemun, was one of the Eight Gates in the Fortress Wall of Seoul, which surrounded the city during the Joseon Dynasty.

The modern, geometric configuration of the National Museum of Korea traces its origins to 1945, when Korea regained its independence after defeat of the Japanese, and it planted its roots in the Joseon Government General Museum, adopting its current name. Now displaying more than 12,000 art and science artifacts in its six permanent exhibition halls, it has played a significant role in restoring the nation’s damaged cultural pride and correcting the false historical images of Korea.

City perspectives were gleaned from its Seoul Tower, located on top of Mt. Namsan and the country’s second-highest point, and during a glide on the Han River, which offered sea level views of its skyline. A Korean barbeque lunch between them seemed appropriate.

As a time-portal to the country’s traditional culture during the late-Joseon period, the Korean Folk Village resurrected it through its 200 or so buildings, including its farm houses from the southern province, its Chinese drugstores, its Buddhist temples, its noble man mansion, and its markets. Craft demonstrations included cotton weaving, wicker working, and pottery making. Performances brought the era to life through the farmers’ dance, the Korean seesaw, tightrope dancing, and a wedding parade. The Confucian academy, a seodang (a village school), and a representative street cemented the experience.

Article Sources:

“Beijing: The Insider’s Guide to the Best of the Capital.” Chinanow.com, 2000.

Inexpensive Methods to Travel the World

Many people dream about being able to someday retire and travel the world. There are also a growing number of people who are considering career breaks and time after school to travel extensively. A top concern and deterrent of these individuals is the cost of travel. This article will outline the several ways to save on transportation costs to allow discounted travel around the world.

Know your top destinations, but be flexible. Making a list of top destinations is an excellent outline for a travel plan, but keeping flexibility on how and when you arrive there is a key to budget travel.

• Airlines use specific airport hubs to connect flights to other destinations. Searching for direct flights both in and out of these locations can save significant amounts of money on tickets. It also often allows for time to explore the area around these hubs between flights.

• Start at an end destination and work your way back. Look at a top destination’s airport website and look at all inbound and outbound flights. This will give you information on which hubs service these locations most often, and other possible destinations of interest you can use as a connection.

Time is your friend. Long-term travel requires considerable planning with as much notice as possible.

• Taking time to research destinations is key to affordable pricing. Traveling to destinations during popular events will cost more than during non-peak times. Researching all forms of transportation are key: South America, and Asia offer luxury buses that are often cheaper and more comfortable than flights, while crossing the Atlantic Ocean can be cheaper on a cruise than by a flight once lodging and meals are factored in.

• Having flexibility in time of travel is a significant source of savings. Searching tickets over a month time-frame will allow for the cheapest options. Additional flexibility in travel time, and not being rushed to your destination will also allow for multiple connections and long layovers, the cheapest tickets usually available.

• Many cruise lines and some airlines offer a best price guarantee but do not advertise it. Booking well in advance and routinely checking back for drops in ticket prices gives you the opportunity to contact the company and request they match their current price. If they will not match the price often companies will provide you with a credit of the difference in price to use on future travel.

Use technology to your advantage. The Internet is the best tool for planning, searching, and booking cheap travel.

• Many search engines allow for you to search multiple airlines over multiple dates to find the lowest prices.

• Checking directly with the airline, cruise line, or bus company and not through a travel agent will give a comparison for all other prices. Signing up for the travel company’s newsletters and loyalty groups will often provide you with first access to special pricing.

• Following travel companies and travel groups on social media provides direct access to immediate news and specials. Travel groups often post glitches in booking software and most travel companies repair these in minutes. Followers that are able to book during the window of glitches are usually allowed to keep their prices. Travel companies occasionally offer followers discounts and travel credits for public feedback on social media.

• Use the booking company’s currency conversion. Changing the booking to multiple currencies can provide significant savings. Often changing currency in software assumes you are in a poorer region and provides discounted pricing. A quick search engine lookup will provide you with an accurate conversion, and a global credit card with no international fees is best for purchase.

Planning well in advance, keeping flexible travel times, and using technology to your advantage can allow you to follow your dreams and travel the world at an affordable price!

What Are the Differences Between Travel Agent and Tour Operator?

The Travel Agent and Tour Operators are normally two separate service providers handling different parts of journey, not always exclusive but the difference does lies in the service they provide.

From consumer point of view the big change happened in 1992, since then any one who is offering the services for travels are liable based upon their stake and expected profit which they are expecting. This is great development for the consumer side as now financial responsibly for the potential liability is divided into every party responsible.

The Tour Operators provide much more detailed services which you require from every little thing during the visit. It might not seem a huge difference but the both of these parties are at different end in case of any liability etc. As the travel agents don’t have huge stakes to the whole journey, being just a go between, so they are taking commission for their services. Incase of the dissatisfaction or problem they might not be facing huge lawsuits as they are not the primary sellers.

The main difference between is that the scope. The Travel Agents provide the specific services unless one asks for them to handle other things, they act as go between the airlines and travelers. It is expected that the travel agents most of times have business inside their own office and don’t have any stakes in the running of tours, or are not attached with the actual facilities and services.

The difference between Agent and Tour Operator can also be seen in the way they are being paid. The agents are given commission for their services for the normal things like air tickets etc. The bill of agent is often very small as compare to.

The services of both the tour operator and travel agents are essentially related so some of the organizations start to take both the activities. This however rarely occurs as the tasks of Tour Operators are huge as compare to the Travel Agent.

Private Jet Charter Flights Are The Ultimate In Air Travel

Private air charter is ideal for sophisticated travelers seeking the utmost in comfort and convenience. Spacious comfortable seats that you just don’t find in normal aircraft, gourmet meals, bars, and in-flight movies are just some of the perks you can expect to find on your next private jet charter flight. It sure beats those cramped commercial airline flights where you can barely move your legs. The level of service and safety on these flights surpasses what you typically find on

commercial flights. What’s more, it’s convenient. You don’t have to wait in line for hours. You just pull right up to the aircraft, board the plane, and you’re ready to go. Oftentimes, the charter company can arrange specialized services such as ground transportation or catering.

Why do travelers typically prefer hiring private jets? Probably the number one reason is that it allows the travelers themselves to decide their flight itinerary. You no longer have to rely on commercial airlines to tell you when you can and cannot fly. What’s more, this kind of service allows you to land in airports that commercial airlines aren’t allowed to go to. This could bring you even closer to your final destination than you previously were before.

One of the many benefits of traveling with a private air charter company is privacy. You get to travel with people you know, and you get the entire plane to yourself. This makes it a lot easier to relax in private, or discuss pertinent matters pertaining to business or personal things.

What’s more, private air chartering can be a cost effective way of traveling, particularly if you are traveling in a group. Up to eighteen passengers can be accommodated on most private jets, and when the cost is split evenly between passengers, the final amount is often significantly less or equal to what you’d spend on a commercial flight. If you have many stops on your itinerary, chartering a private jet can save you on hotel and parking costs.

Who, exactly, uses private jet charter services? Above all, people traveling on business. This includes celebrities, business executives, CEOs, as well as smaller organizations who prefer to travel together as a group.

Private jet charters are also enjoyed by luxury vacation travelers who simply have the extra money to pay for a hassle-free experience. These travelers enjoy customizing their own itineraries with companies who are willing to go the extra mile to accommodate their specific travel needs.

To further your investigation on a private jet flights [http://www.charter-private-jet.net/privatejet.php], please visit the link provided below where you will find great articles and useful air charter services [http://www.charter-private-jet.net/aircharterservice.php] information.

Fly to Your Next Travel Destination With Cheap Endeavor Air Flights

Be it a business or a leisure trip; one can fly in Endeavor Air to around 130 destinations across the world in a well-organized fashion leading to the ultimate travel satisfaction.

Fleet

One of the most significant American Regional airlines, Endeavor is the world’s largest operator of Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft. Being a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, Endeavor Air operates as a Delta connection to over 154 regional jets on nearly 800 daily flights to more than 130 destinations in the United States, the Caribbean, and Canada. The air carrier boasts of the world’s largest fleet of 76-seat Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft, besides the remarkable count of 69-seat CRJ-700 and 50-seat CRJ-200 regional jets. It covers all the time zones in North America, including destinations in Canada and the Bahamas along with its Codesharing partnership with, Olympic Air, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia International, and WestJet.

Hubs

One of the prominent regional airlines in the US, Endeavor Air, is headquartered in Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, which serves as the corporate base for the airlines along with its other major hubs at New York’s LaGuardia Airport John F. Kennedy International Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.

In-flight Amenities

Endeavor flights provide world-class In-Flight Entertainment Systems which include dedicated Delta Air Lines featuring Audio-video on demand (AVOD) with a wide collection of movies to choose from, interesting games to engage and entertain travelers of all age groups, dedicated televisions loaded with Satellite live TV functionality in selected flights, in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity for those who wish to remain connected for the business or personal reasons. Passengers have the onboard purchase facility for the Non-Alcoholic Beverages and Snacks, and first class passengers can enjoy the complimentary Non-Alcoholic Beverages and Snacks. One more remarkable feature for Endeavor airlines is its approach towards supporting passengers with welcome service and emotional support animals on the domestic system and many international destinations without any cost in the cabin. Emotional support animals may accompany a passenger with a disability on a flight with prior permission and required official formality.

Web Check-in

Passengers have the facility to check-in directly to Endeavor Air flight from anywhere at their own convenience. Check-in process becomes faster and much smoother via web check-in, enabling the passenger to check in & print the boarding pass directly from their systems without waiting in the long queues in the airport. It also allows the passengers to check in their luggage in advance, selection of the desired seat, the selection of meal options and many more, before the actual departure of the flight.

With such a customer-centric approach, ensuring to offer the best possible service to its passengers, Endeavor airlines is surely one of the finest American flight service provider.

International Air Travel: Make It Enjoyable and Hassle Free – Part I

International travel is an expensive and time-consuming exercise. Many of us go on international trips either for business or work related trips, to visit families, for studies in foreign countries or just for a vacation. Here are some tips to make this travel pleasant and easy on you and your pockets.

Planning your trip:

Plan your trip well in advance, if possible. This presents you an opportunity to get better air ticket deals. Airfares for international travels are seasonal. There are three main seasons: Low, Shoulder and Peak. Traveling in peak season is always the most expensive. If your trip is not time bound, plan to travel in the low season to get cheapest and low airfares. For travel in peak season, shop for deals well in advance. This assures you good price, your choice of airlines and your choice of dates. If possible, keep the travel dates flexible, as that would help you in getting lower fares. There is a notion that you can get cheap air tickets if you wait till the last minute. This is not necessarily true and during the peak season, you may run the risk of not getting a seat on any airlines at all.

There are many ways on how you can save money. Many airlines have different fares for weekday and weekend travel. If you are planning to break your journey midway, some airlines offer free stopovers while others charge a fee. Sometimes, direct / non-stop flights are expensive than the ones with one or more stops. Less known airlines can offer hard to resist deals. You can either call individual airlines to get their air fares and then compare or search on travel websites, which offer online booking facilities. While calling individual airlines can be a time consuming and tedious process, online booking sites may not be the right option if you have a few twists in your trip. And both these options may not give you access to the promotional and discount fares. The best bet will be to call a travel agent and let them do the job for you.

Travel agents are a good source to get great deals. They can help you in finding deals with more than one airline and can offer tickets for discounted prices. They have access to almost all airlines and have the expertise to search for the cheapest tickets in the market. Travel agents are a great source of information. Do not hesitate to ask them questions. They can provide valuable tips on how you can save money. Travel agents deal with more than one traveler at a time and hence may not be able to give you the details in the first call. Give them your trip details and give them some time and they can come up with really good deals for you. Travel agents are easy to spot as many of them have websites. A travel agency with excellent customer service is an asset. Some travel sites like [http://www.TravelWorldServices], [http://www.LowfareAlways.com], etc. offer personalized over-the-phone services on travel to various destinations across the world.

There are several travel agencies around the world. However, it is important that you choose the right travel agency, which offers the best customer service at the cost of a few additional dollars. This is better than booking the ticket online or offline through a travel agency who may offer really cheap deal but may end up not delivering you the ticket or not confirming your seats.

So the first step to planning your next international trip is to get yourself a really good travel agent.

Luxury Travel on a Shoestring Budget – Money Saving Travel Tips

Love to travel but don’t have the thousands of dollars to do it?

You can get luxury travel on a shoestring budget by planning your vacation or trip just a bit more carefully.

Read a few of these tips, and then go on your well-deserved getaway without burning a hole in your pocket.

Always remember: When planning your trip, timing is key.

For example, school vacation weeks are the worst times to plan trips. Most parents have no choice but to travel at these high-peak seasons, so school vacation periods in any country are always going to be crowded. The airfare is always sky high – no pun intended.

If you’ve traveled during these peak seasons, you may noticed that coach seats during a school vacation week could cost you more money than a first class ticket during the off-season. So remember, unless you MUST travel during these peak periods, avoid winter and spring breaks at all costs.

Here’s another important tip: Regardless of how you decide to book your luxury travel arrangements – either through a travel agent or through an online travel website – make sure that you know exactly who you are working with. For example, your best bet to save on a hotel and car rental package is probably going to be with Priceline.com’s “name your own price” option. However, Priceline.com is not the best choice for international airline travel. You’d be better off with an agent. Either way you go, try to use the same travel agent or service. This makes sure that you build a solid relationship with the company you’re dealing with. If you are loyal to them, they will be loyal to you. Always remember, they want your business.

Think about how frequent flier programs work: if you choose their airline consistently, they’ll reward you by giving you a free flight. Granted, you’ll need to do a lot of flying if you’re just going to earn points sitting on a plane, but with a little research, you’ll find ways to make loyalty programs work in your favor. When booking online or with an agent, make sure you always ask questions. You will never get anywhere from being silent.

If for some reason the company you’re working with makes an error, be sure to take advantage of it. Most companies want to keep up a high level of customer satisfaction, and they rely on their guests to provide them with information on how to achieve that. See if they could possibly upgrade an aspect of your trip. Your coach tickets could turn into first class, or maybe your suite could turn into a deluxe version. Don’t be scared to ask for upgrades. If they say no, then you’re no worse off than before. Your criticism will ensure that yourself (and other travelers) will have a satisfactory luxury vacation.

When you’re looking your vacation online, you should search travel review sites for agents or an agencies who have shown they willing to work with unhappy customers, an have proven that they excel at customer service. Many times, customer service representatives get aggravated with customers who complain, or the service reps are based in a foreign country and can only read from a script. And you probably already know that scripts don’t cover every possible customer service issue that a traveler may encounter.

You’ll find just about any travel service rated on a review site somewhere. Just keep in mind that people like to complain about bad experiences, so you’ll find many more complaints than good reviews for even the most well-known travel services. So take the complaints with a grain of salt. Look for the most commonly re-occurring complaints (like bad customer service). Most bad experiences are not usually the fault of the service. Rather the experience occurred because of the traveler’s misunderstanding of the travel site policies.

* * * Read your travel site’s terms and conditions BEFORE you book reservations * * *

You want to consider all aspects of your deal; not just the price tag. Quality wins over quantity in some cases. You find a rate online offering a room at $20.00 a night. It may sound appealing, right? Maybe you’re taking your family to Disney World and you figured you just need someplace to rest your head at night. But when you check-in, that’s when you discover the bathroom is shared with everyone on the floor, there’s police tape strung across the the door to the room next to yours, and you see prostitutes wandering in the parking lot. Maybe this deal WAS too good to be true.

Do your research. There’s plenty of information available to educate yourself on discounted travel mastery. Most of it is available for free; some of it you may have to pay for if you don’t want to do the research. Go to travel websites and forums specific to the type of trip you’re planning to take: Cruise, adventure tour, etc. If you are itching to take a trip that you don’t want to pay full price for, and you opt to pay for money-saving travel information online, I’d recommend that you only consider offers that give you a 100% money-back guarantee. If you don’t get great money-saving travel tips, at least you can get your money back.

Follow these simple practices, and you’ll have the luxury you want on a shoestring budget.

Know Your Air Travel Rights

If you have ever had a flight cancelled, had a boarding pass but were denied boarding because they overbooked, been bumped just before boarding, sat on the tarmac for hours, or find that your luggage has been lost or delayed on arrival at your destination, you know how maddening it can be.

This is especially stressful if it’s not just you and now you have a melee of angry passengers looking to re book. To put it mildly they are stressed and upset and make it obvious, Then you have the drunk and the crying kids all of which add to the stress level when all you want is to board a plane and get to your destination on time.

In all of these cases, the airline owes you for your trouble. Sometimes it’s by law and other times it’s just good customer service – not all airlines are equal in the way they handle a variety of problems. Here are some of your legal rights you may not know you have..

Research and Know Your Rights in Advance

It makes sense to know your rights before you book. When you are stranded at the airport is no time to start researching to find out what you are entitled to and what rights you have in the particular situation you end up in. There are two resources that will help you understand your rights the US Department of Transportation Airline Passenger Protection Bill and the Air Consumer Flying Rights.

Locking in your Fare in advance of Payment

When booking a flight you can reserve and lock in your price for 24 hours or more without payment depending on the flight being booked. This works when booking direct with the airline or with your Travel Agent. This won’t necessarily work if booking your own fare online. At the time of making the reservation you must provide your exact name as it is on your passport or government ID. Names cannot be changed and if it’s wrong the reservation would be canceled starting back at the beginning looking for a new fare likely at a new more expensive price. This process gives you 24 hours or more to decide if that’s the flight you want before making payment. Remember that any requested changes during that time will cancel the reservation and start you back at the beginning with new information.

Prices do change quickly in the airline industry depending on the volumes booked on the flights. Booking last minute will likely cost you a lot more than booking 2 to 3 weeks out. When you get a good quote on the flight you want lock it in while you make a decision rather than losing out on the price while you decide.

Bumped Flights

You may not be aware but if you are bumped from a flight or if your luggage is lost or delayed you have a right to ask for cash. If they ask for volunteers because a flight is overbooked and offer a voucher for a future flight or a combination of cash and voucher most people will accept this. If that’s good with you then take it, but according to Airfare Watchdog you can ask for a cash payout on the spot depending on the amount of delay time In getting to your destination.:

Under US Department of Transportation rules bumped passengers subject to short delays will receive compensation equal to double the price of their tickets, while those subject to longer delays would receive payments of four times the value of their tickets. There are limits in place so check the DOT bill of rights for the latest compensation limits.

Short delays are 1-2 hours for domestic flights, and 1-4 hours for international flights. Longer delays are for times more than these. For outright cancellations, the airline owes a full refund, even on non-refundable flights.

Delayed or Lost Luggage

If your luggage is delayed or lost you are also entitled to compensation. Some airlines offer nothing other than delivery to your home or destination hotel when the luggage arrives, others offer a small amount of cash to cover essentials like toiletries, and others might offer a voucher for a discount on a future flight. The law actually says you are entitled to up to $3,300 for luggage delayed on a domestic flights and up to $1,500 for luggage delayed on an International Flight. The amount is determined by how long you are without your luggage. If the luggage is totally lost then you are entitled to the full compensation. Check the DOT bill of rights for the latest compensation limits.

Airlines are also required to apply the same baggage compensation for each segment of your trip if you have more than one flight including those with interline and code share partners.

Tarmac Delays

The amount of time the airlines are allowed to keep you sitting on a plane on the tarmac before they allow you to deboard has changed. On a domestic flight the airline cannot keep you on the plane for more than 3 hours before allowing you to deplane. On International flights the amount of time they can keep you on the tarmac is 4 hours. The airlines are required to provide you with water and washroom access at all times during the delay..

Summary

Airlines will often give you what works for them, glossing over whats best for you and your passenger rights. Your best defense is to know your rights and to be willing to follow up with them when you have to.

Most airlines will try to give you a travel voucher, a discount on a future ticket, a flight upgrade or additional frequent flier miles instead of cash. If you are happy with any of these take them.

The airlines will do their best to re book you on another flight or with another airline. Rather than wait in the line up after a flight is canceled call the Airline direct to re book, you’ll get booked much faster than waiting in line. Make a note of the airline contact number and keep it handy just in case.

Better to be prepared and to know your rights before you fly, then you’ll know exactly what to do if and when the times comes.

In my next article I will elaborate on how to complain and how to go about getting what you are entitled to.