Not every weekly article I write can feature golden beaches, fiery sunsets and cultural experiences to drool about, and this weeks certainly doesn't!
Occasionally I feel compelled to lay out some true-talking travel advice and so here I go again with the aiirlines, in the middle of a summer where they have let down so many.
Below is this weeks Top 5 focused on the most crucial element of international travel - airline tickets, and how to avoid being disappointed and possibly rather angry.
Top 5 - Those airlines are doing what now?
During the pandemic, if your trip was interrupted most airlines would leave vouchers open and let you pick when you want to travel next. There was a lot of flexibility, but now that no longer exists. We haven't had to use this word in a while, but it's good to know the definition. Validity in airfare terms, means the period for which the ticket is valid. If you have some self-booked flights that you cancelled for a future credit then you MUST check the validity of your tickets to make sure they are still valid before rebooking. Generally, you now only have one year from the date the ticket was ISSUED to use your credit/voucher.
The good news is there are exceptions and Southwest just announced that their eCredits will never expire, so make sure you always check with your specific airline.
It should make sense that if you miss your first flight you can always just fly the rest of the flights on your itinerary. NOPE. Virtually all airlines will cancel the remaining flights if you miss any flight in the sequence. We've had a lot of quesions on this very subject this summer with the chaos that has been particularly prevalent in Europe. If a flight is missed, the whole itinerary goes out of the window and you must rebook with either the airline directly or your travel advisor.
3. Partner Airlines
During the pandemic, many airlines would allow tickets to be reissued on their partners. For example, Skyteam allowed you to reissue on KLM, Air France, and Delta. These days you must double-check with the airline because the rules have changed and most do not now allow you to reissue on partner airlines.
I've been jumping up and down about this since back in 2016, but this summer has really made the difference. Checked bags have been lost in their droves. Usually the media exaggerate stories that feature lost bags and airline chaos, but honestly, they may have even underplayed it this year. If you can possibly do it, go with carry-on only. If you've never done it before I challenge you to try just once. Many never go back!
5. Rebook for Less
Although the validity of your flight credits has likely been reined in somewhat, at least airlines are still issuing flight credits or vouchers and also still have no change fees in a lot of circumstances. If you've booked a quite expensive flight, keep tracking the price after you have booked. We use Google Flights price tracking tools. If there is a steep fall, cancel your original booking for the full flight credit. These are usually available to reuse almost immediately, so then rebook with the credit, and in most cases you will then be sent another credit for future travel for the difference.
We stress all this information as a way to continue to encourage you to use our expertise as luxury travel advisors. We are here for you now and in the future. To help you navigate the good, the bad, and the tricky when it comes to all things travel. Let us advocate for you and take the stress out of planning your dream vacation so you can relax knowing everything is taken care of. So if you are ready to start planning your next getaway let us know by clicking the button below.
I love travel and I love travel planning just as much and I am proud to be building a team as passionate about exploring the world as myself. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts. We provide a bespoke service, imagining and creating itineraries for independent minded families and groups.
Be social - follow along on our travel adventures and for travel insights..
Want our blog posts delivered straight to your inbox? Enter your email below to subscribe to our newsletter.