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Q: Is It Still Worthwhile To Use Travel Agents PDF Print E-mail


During my work career, I did a lot of business travel and always used an agency. Now, as a retiree and with all the available online resources, I’m considering doing all the research and booking myself. Opinion? LJMcC, PhilaPA

A: Of course, you may be able do it yourself. However, if you still travel frequently, remember how your hometown agent helped when you were stuck in the airport because an airline booted you off a flight. Or when you arrived at a hotel and your booked room wasn’t available. Agents are involved daily with the constantly-changing realities of travel, and are available by phone or email 24-7 to help when you need them.

 
Q: Do Online Travel Sites Really Get You The Best Prices? PDF Print E-mail


I recently bought an online deal for a Vegas hotel of $120 a night. But when I checked in, the clerk said because I was a senior, I could’ve paid just $99. Are those sites giving out wrong info to make money? MCJ, Atlanta GA

A: Of course online agencies exist to earn money. Sometimes their prices are lower than booking direct with hotels. It’s a matter of timing, season, special promotions and other ever-changing factors. When checking in, always ask the clerk if that’s the best price. Of course, also mention you're a senior, frequent visitor and/or other positive fact. Chances are, you’ll get a lower price and/or other benefits, such as larger rooms, free meals and entertainment.

 
Q: What Do I Do When A Passenger Grabs My Assigned Seat? PDF Print E-mail


On a recent flight, after boarding, I saw an elderly woman in my seat. I checked my boarding pass, and said she was in error. She refused to move.

When I told the flight attendant, he said the woman, who waved her cane at me, was handicapped and could not be moved. Angry as hell, I was sent to a seat in the rear. During the flight I saw the “handicapped” woman easily strolling the aisle several times. What should I have done? Jack R., Lafayette IN

A: Not much. You can later file a complaint with the airline, and maybe get a free future flight. Fake handicap pre-boarding, seat grabs and phony companion dog scams are all too frequent. The best way to react is not to lose your temper and just firmly state the facts to the airline. In flight, always cooperate with flight attendants, who must deal with these offenders daily.

 
What To Do In Flight If You’re Seated Next To A Groper PDF Print E-mail


Q: I fly frequently, and although I’m a senior, sometimes get unwelcome physical contacts. They usually happen on flights when the cheap seats are jammed full. What should I do? Ms. PL, San Francisco CA

A: If the contact isn’t intentional, just hunker down and ignore it. If you believe it’s an unwelcome grope, let the flight attendant know quickly and ask for another seat. If the groper is obviously drunk or otherwise offensive, demand that security action be taken when the flight lands.

 
To Dress Up Or Go Casual For Cruise Ship Evening Dining PDF Print E-mail


Q: We haven’t cruised in at least 10 years. Now we’re going with a group, and I’m wondering: Should we pack formal clothes for dinners and late-night activities? Ms. Mary J., Bangor ME

A: It depends on your cruise line. For dinner, big ships usually require evening wear, but not necessarily formal. Cocktail dresses for ladies and suits for men. Of course, if you want to get all gussied up for those activities, pack your formal duds. To be sure of the ship’s dress code, check with your travel group leader and/or the cruise line’s website.

 
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