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Flight Tips From Pros

Flight Tips From Pros

shutterstock_119437231By Anna Olcese


Marc Schnoll

About: Marc is a licensed CPA in Florida and Wisconsin. He specializes in personalized financial, accounting and tax planning services for individuals and corporations. He also specializes in all facets of the real estate industry.

What should you do when your flight is cancelled?

Before re-booking, know your options. Check the airline’s schedule on its website — and if you’re able to fly to a nearby city, check those, too. If your flight to GNV is cancelled, the airline often will be willing to fly you to JAX, for instance, but you have to ask for it. If you’re in an airport when the flight is cancelled, call the airline’s customer service number, rather than waiting in line with everybody else. You’re likely to get quicker service, and they may be more willing to take the time to work out your best option. 

How can you get an upgrade?

In most cases, the only way to get a free upgrade is to be an elite-level flier on an airline. Elite-level status typically starts at 25,000 miles per year. If you fly that much, it may be worthwhile to fly on one airline and build your status. Elite status comes with perks beyond the occasional free upgrade, such as reduced baggage fees, priority seating and priority boarding. Each airline’s program is different, but airline websites describe their programs in detail.


Lou Heckler

About: For the past three decades, Lou has traveled the world as a motivation keynote speaker and speech coach. He was voted one of Meetings and Conventions Magazine’s favorite speakers in 2010.

What should you do when your flight is cancelled?

1. Stay calm.

2. Be kind as you ask a gate agent or front desk agent for help.

3. Do a little exploring on your smart phone to see what other flights may be possible.

4. Notify your client/family at the other end.

5.  Stay calm (again!).

How can you get an upgrade?

Do the best you can to feature one airline as your go-to carrier. They really do look to see how many miles you fly with them. Airlines have a bit of a “what-have- you-done-for-me-lately” mindset. Don’t be afraid to ask to be put on the list when you do get to the gate.


Other Tips and Tricks From Pros

If your flight is cancelled, the first thing you do is book a hotel room, particularly if your flight is late at night. All the other passengers are waiting in line for vouchers from the airline. You’ll end up in a hotel room far from the airport. If possible, book the airport hotel. You can get a decent night’s sleep and take the first flight out.

See Also

If your flight is either delayed or cancelled, go to any counter in the airport. You don’t have to stay at your gate. Any gate agent from any airline can help.

Before you leave your house or hotel to catch your flight, check on FlightAware to ensure it’s on time. This is a great travel app that is updated constantly, giving you real-time information about flight delays, the type of aircraft that you will be flying in and gate information.

Take as much as you can in your carry-on bags. If traveling for business, try to limit yourself to carry-on bags. Have two bags, in case your rolling carry-on is too large to fit in a smaller aircraft. That way, you can take the smaller bag filled with essentials that you will need while flying. Carry-on bags also will ensure that you have what you need upon arrival.


Getting the Most of Frequent Flyer Miles

1.  If you have time, substitute a one-connection itinerary for a direct flight. Though it can be a hassle, you will acquire more miles.

2.  Sign up for at least one airline credit card. The dollars spent mean miles that accrue.

3.  Build your miles domestically, but use them internationally.

4.  Ask every place you eat and every place you stay if they have a tie-in with an airline that may add to your total.

5.  Keep precise track of what miles you have earned. Save those boarding passes. On occasion, an airline doesn’t enter your flights properly into their system and you risk losing points.


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