When is a cheap ticket the worst option?

In Alaska Travelgram, Consumer by scott

I got a nice note from Ellen in Anchorage asking about airlines. “Should I buy a ticket on a bankrupt airline–or pay more for another carrier?”

It’s a good question. The stigma about airlines in bankruptcy is gone, since all but a couple have taken a twirl through the doors of the Federal Bankruptcy Court.

This brings up an important point, though. More folks are pushing through the veil to act as their own travel expert. Sometimes the magic works. Sometimes it doesn’t. 

Face it: there are tricks to every trade. And your travel agent knows most of them. Remember travel agents? I know–so retro. But they can save you a ton of money. More importantly, they can save you time and aggravation trying to line up all the details of your trip.

Of course, there are good travel agents and bad ones. I use my friends at USTravel here in Anchorage. Call them: (907)561-2434 or toll-free (800)544-2217. Specifically, my agent is Laura. But Giovanni also is available in this office–and he’s getting great reviews from my readers. 

Laura and I talk all the time about great fares where there are no flights. About how airlines “batch” flights. About extra charges that are not disclosed in hotel prices, car prices or airline fares.

We also discuss the best destinations, the best cruises, the best vacation experiences–the whole banana. 

These days, your travel agent charges a fee for service–just like everyone else. That adds up to $38 for an airline ticket. But the aggravation of getting the right flight, the right seat, the right connections–heck, let your agent handle it.

I hear about all sorts of horror stories: booked flights that don’t exist, false claims from a hotel and prices that are nothing less than bait-and-switch.

Most travelers use the internet and the online options to research their vacations or business trip. But the travel environment is increasingly littered with land mines: cancellations, delays, up-charges, changes and surprises. 

Let our friends at USTravel help you plan your next trip. They’ve got offices in Anchorage, Kodiak (907)486-3232, Dutch Harbor (907)581-3133Prudhoe Bay, Juneau (907)463-5446, Ketchikan (907)228-8900 and Fairbanks (907)452-8992. Their sister company, Doug Fox Travel (800)368-4369, has offices throughout the Seattle-Tacoma area. Tell Laura or Giovanni or one of the other fine professionals that Scott sent you.

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