Ask our travel experts about travel and get answers to reader questions
Q&A: Travel Concerns About Sexual Discrimination PDF Print E-mail

Q: My partner and I are a gay couple, and we’ve traveled extensively throughout the world. Because we don’t hide our relationship, we frequently have booking problems in countries with strict sex laws, such as China and Russia.

Now we’re planning to join a group trip with some destinations in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt. How can we make this a trouble-free experience? PLJ, West Palm Beach FL

Q: Is It OK To Tip A Helpful Flight Attendant? PDF Print E-mail

P.L., Memphis TN: This senior citizen requires help to get through the airport to check-in and to my flight. I always tip the airport employee who pushes my wheelchair.

Once aboard, a flight attendant helps me get settled in my seat and my carry-on into the overhead. Then, for bathroom trips, I’m escorted up and down the aisle. Should I tip for those services?

When Is It OK To Tip A Flight Attendant? PDF Print E-mail

Q: In my many decades of airline travel, most attendants have been considerate to me. However, now that I’m elderly, some have been extra understanding and very helpful. When that happens, should I offer a cash tip? MRMcK, Chicago IL

A: Most airlines officially forbid employees from taking tips. A few, such as Southwest, allow them to accept gratuities if the passenger insists. However, today’s average flight attendant’s annual salary is $60,000, plus many added benefits including free personal flights, dining and resort hotel stays. Do they need tips to supplement their income?

The travel4seniors.com answer: It’s your decision to tip when you believe the attendant went beyond the usual duties for your personal comfort and safety. Another way to reward the attendant is to send an email note to the airline identifying the employee by name with a favorable description of the extra services provided for you.

Ye Room Bibles Say It’s So: Ask & Ye Shall Receive PDF Print E-mail

Q: When I check into a hotel and the clerk tells me the room price, do I accept it or ask for a better rate? ALP, Gettysburg PA

A: You’ve booked the room at a certain price, but you may not have to accept it. In a word: inquire, and maybe your prayers for a better deal will be answered! Of course, there are no room bibles any more, but some preaching to the desk clerk may help.

Q: May I Fly With No Drunks Or Babies Next To Me? PDF Print E-mail

I go by air several times a month and too frequently seated near problem people. As I get older, it becomes more annoying. What can I do about it? PLJ, Dallas TX

A: It isn’t just your age. Flying these days can be more crowded, security groped, frustrating, overbooked, overpriced and just plain unpleasant. One possible solution is upgrading. Pay more to get a larger, more comfortable single seat in business or first class.


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