Ask our travel experts about travel and get answers to reader questions
Q: Do Airlines Still Offer Discount Fares For Funerals? PDF Print E-mail

Recently we had a death in the family and I needed to get a cross-country flight. Because it was a last-minute booking, the cost was twice as much as it should have been for a regular booked flight. Could I have avoided the sky-high fee? MMR, Newark NJ

A: Not all airlines offer lower-rate, quick-book bereavement fares. When you first know about the funeral schedule, immediately check online, by phone and/or with a local travel agency to find a cooperating airline. When booking, you must give details, including name of the deceased relative, funeral schedule and locations.

Quickie Tour Instead Of Dreary Hours In The Airport? PDF Print E-mail

Q: On our trip to Tokyo next month, our schedule includes a six-hour layover at Los Angeles. Are there short tours, such as to Hollywood and the beaches, available from and return to the airport? RLMcL, Newark NJ

A: Check the internet for companies that specialize in quick and layover tours to and from Los Angeles International Airport. Costs start at about $100 for a three-hour tour. Example: www.viator.com/tours/Los-Angeles/LAX-Layover-Tours-Hollywood-Beverly-Hills-Santa-Monica-and-more

Q: What About All The Rules On Checking Bags? PDF Print E-mail

Not too old to remember when checking a bag before flights cost $5. Now, every time I go the fee jumps from $20, $40 and up. How do I deal with it next time I fly? MCJ, Portland OR

A: It’ll get even more costly as airlines keep advertising low, low ticket specials, while seeking other ways to make money. Some now charge for carry-on small bags you once stuffed for free in the overhead or under your seat.

Of course, the best answer is travel light, take no bags, and stash everything into a coat you wear with lots of inside and outside pockets. You’ll not only save money, but also avoid the frustrating delays after the flight lands, and must wait while the baggage carousel goes round and round forever.

When planning future flights, first always get the latest info on bag rules and fees from your airline. That includes charges you can pay in advance online and other possible time- and money-saving options.

Q: How To Report Wheelchair Damaged During Flight PDF Print E-mail

I travel with cane and wheelchair. After a recent trip, the wheelchair came out of the baggage chute with broken wheels. I got in line to complain at the airline desk, but it was so busy I gave up and left the airport. What do I do now? MLM, Denver CO

A: Notify the airline with all the facts as soon as possible by email and/or phone. Further, register your complaint with the Department of Transportation online or written mail. The agency requires a written response by the airline to you and DOT.

Q: Do I Need Separate Health Insurance For China Tour? PDF Print E-mail

Until now I’ve only visited US destinations, and am worried about medical coverage on my Asian trip next month. I need daily doses of four prescription meds, and worry about suddenly getting sick in a foreign city and needing a doctor or refill prescription. Suggestions? Mrs. LRMcR, Waco TX

A: First, be sure the current plan includes China. Check with your insurance company about any needed supplemental coverage. Also, before you go, fill all prescription meds in the event you run out, adding a week or so extras in case you’re delayed.

To play it safe, don’t get subscriptions filled in foreign countries where regulations aren’t too strict on retailers’ products. And, when you bring foreign-made meds back with you, be sure to declare them upon arrival to U.S. Customs, with a copy of your prescription and doctor’s note.


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