NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s a turbulent time for travel — bad behavior keeps making headlines just ahead of the summer getaway season, and unpleasant scenes aboard airplanes have become all too familiar.
“Everybody has got a cellphone ready, armed and dangerous to use it,” CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenberg explained.
As CBS2’s Dana Tyler reported, there are some little known travel secrets that can pay off the next time you take off.
Greenberg said some strict airline policies and even passengers breaking the rules have pushed travelers and employees to the breaking point.
“We are seeing the culmination of a perfect storm. Airlines shrinking capacity, shrinking the number of flights, raising the fares, adding seats, doing everything they can to add revenue,” Greenberg explained.
If you know your rights, and some airlines rules there are great opportunities to save and have safe summer travel.
“What you need to know for the summer season is what if you need to know any time of year, and that is common sense. Try to take the first flight of the day,” Greenberg said.
Greenberg said that if the plane is at the airport overnight chances are you’ll get out on time, but if you don’t there might be a solution.
“There’s something called interlining. It works with Delta, United, American, the legacy carriers,” he explained.
Interlining is when airlines will endorse your ticket to another carrier if your plane is delayed or canceled for any reason other than weather.
“Airlines don’t volunteer it because they don’t want to give up their revenue,” he said.
Don’t look for it on smaller carriers.
“The reason you saw panic break out at the Fort Lauderdale airport is because Spirit doesn’t have an interline agreement, so all those tickets are only on Spirit,” he explained.
For a safe trip, common sense comes into play.
“Wipe off the obvious areas where your skin touches something. The tray table tops, the cushion, the headrests, and the overhead air filter. Think about all the things you touched with your own hands, someone else has touched before you,” he said.
When it comes to savings on car rentals, fill the tank before returning to avoid a hefty surcharge.
“Don’t rent at the airport, you will pay a huge premium,” Greenberg said, “It’s almost cheaper in many locations to take a shuttle or a cab to a downtown location.”
For the best deal on hotels forget the 800 numbers.
“You’re calling a clearing house that has no ability to negotiate,” he said.
He suggested calling the hotel directly for the best rate, and ask for extras like free wifi and parking.
Another way to save big is to use travel websites to research, and then call a travel agent.
“Our consultants have tools and systems that the general public can’t access. To find inventory that may not be available to the general public,” James Bovino, Liberty Travel explained.
That means insider airfares, hotel deals, and a human to help with any travel chaos.
“We get rid of all those long hold times, and all those long waits in the airport, and we make it seamless and easy for you and get you right back on your way again,” he said.
Travel agents are generally paid by the supplier, so there is no added cost to the consumer.