Handling glitches in your travel plans
When things go wrong on the road, it helps to know your rights
July 11, 1997
Web posted at: 4:37 p.m. EDT (1637 GMT)
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(CNN) -- In the myriad of travelers' frustrations, there are two that stand out -- the inconvenient (changing planes) and the unexpected (changing plans). For the former, foresight and forbearance are most likely your best defense. The latter can leave even the most experienced travelers in a tailspin.
Knowing what to expect after meeting the unexpected -- at the airport, the hotel, or the car rental desk -- can help prevent a bump in your itinerary from throwing your whole trip off track.
Here's some advice from a travel expert on three common problems:
If you're bumped from a flight, don't follow the pack.
"First thing I always do is head to a pay phone," said business travel expert Christopher McGinnis. "Instead of getting in line with everyone else from the flight -- you know, the 100 or 200 people who were booked on that flight -- go straight to the pay phone.
"Call the airline's 800-number, and you're connected to a person with access to a computer -- the same computer that the person behind the counter has."
Once you make it to your destination, what if your hotel doesn't have a room for you -- even if you have a confirmation number?
McGinnis advised first asking for transportation to a nearby hotel of equal or better quality.
"You should ask for your first night's stay free -- they (the hotel where you made your reservation) should pay for your first night," he said. "And ... ask for a telephone call to your home or to your office to let the people know that you're not going to be staying where you thought you were going to be staying."
Don't let a shortage of rental cars foil your budget travel plans.
"(If) you reserved an inexpensive compact car, and they don't have any available -- then they have to upgrade you to the next level car at ... no expense to you," said McGinnis.
Sometimes, after all, travel glitches can bring good things.
Based on a report from CNN's Business and Travel and Beyond. The segment appears Monday through Friday on Daybreak at 5:30 AM (ET) and on Early Edition at 7 AM (ET). BT&B also airs Sundays on the World Today at 10 PM (ET).
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