[Repost from 2016]

My previous position as a Vacation Service Agent with Delta Vacations mainly consisted of taking phone calls the day of travel or during travel. A.k.a when things go wrong I am here to help! Well I have received so many phone calls on these scenarios I thought I should share them with you so maybe you can learn from others mistakes. Here are my travel tips:

Airline Travel Tips: 

  • Did you know some countries will not allow you to travel unless your passport has an expiration past 90 days of when you’re traveling? I actually met a lady at Sandals who was supposed to meet her boyfriend, but they wouldn’t let him travel because his passport expired within 90 days. Don’t let that be you! Look up the rules or get your passport renewed!
  • Did you book with Delta Vacations and need to change your flight but don’t want to pay the change fee? Ask how much it is to upgrade to comfort plus or first class as the change fee will be waived! You will still be responsible to pay the air fare difference. I just priced out changing the dates for a passenger and it was actually less expensive for him to upgrade to comfort plus rather than coach!
  • When traveling with Delta Vacations if you miss the first leg of your flight the rest of your flights will be cancelled automatically. If you call in to advise that you only want to take the second leg (or any leg besides the first) of your flight, you will have to pay the change fee along with the air fare increase to resell your air. It may not make a lot of sense, but our policy is that you have to take the whole flight, any leg you don’t fly will result in the rest of your flights cancelling.
  • Checking a bag? Make sure to bring a carry on with enough clothing/toiletries to get you through one day. Bags get lost, be prepared!
  • Verify your name matches your passport EXACTLY! That means middle name, title, suffix you name it! Nothing worse than being rejected by TSA because you forgot to add your middle name or misspell your name in any way. Also make sure to check this right away as it may cost you if you wait after 24 hours.
  • Always, always, always allow yourself enough time to get to the airport/check in/go through security. I cannot express this enough. In fact I just received a phone call this morning of a passenger who missed his flight yesterday due to long lines at the airport. He said to me “but I arrived an hour early.” An hour is not enough time. You should be arriving at least 2 hours early for domestic and 3 hours for international. There is nothing worse than rushing to the airport and finding you can’t check in at the kiosk and have to wait in a long line to get check in, and than the security line on top of that. Allow yourself more than enough time to get to your flight.

Hotel Travel Tips: 

  • This may not apply to other companies, but at Delta Vacations if you are requesting a bed type it is NEVER guaranteed. That means if you book a room that states it may have a king or 2 double beds and you request a king, if the hotel doesn’t have king beds you will be getting a room with 2 double beds. I have had many people get upset about this that is why I want to make it very clear a request is exactly what it sounds like, and it can be denied.
  • My quote of the day is always “you get what you pay for.” If you want to the cheapest hotel, it’s probably not going to be very nice. It may be worth paying a little more to get at least a 3 star hotel, as we don’t want you to be disappointed when you get to your hotel on your vacation!
  • This tip may seem contradictory but it is true: just because you book an ocean view doesn’t mean it’s a good view. Some hotels consider your room an ocean view even if you have to go out on your balcony and peer around the corner to see a sliver of water. There may also be obstructions such as construction or a parking lot or it may be far away. If you want to guarantee you have an ocean view book an ocean front so you are literally right in front of the water.
  • If you never been to Europe or Asia – warning! Rooms are small. That might seem like a well known fact to some, but I have had people call in who were appalled that we would put them in a hotel with such small rooms. I had to kindly explain that it is the norm in other countries. In America we seem to think bigger is better 🙂

General Travel Tips: 

  • I recommend leaving an open day after you return for vacation. No this isn’t just for jet leg/relaxation purposes. This is because delays happen all the time, and this can mean one day delays in some cases. It is a nice option if your flight is delayed a day to do a date shift so you can still stay the same number of nights. Delta airlines will do this at no charge, as well as most hotels.
  • Always carry a credit card on you. You will almost always need a credit card in order to rent a car or to put on file at hotels for incidentals. Without a credit card you can be denied a car rental or hotel.
  • Whenever you call in to get a price quote keep in mind prices are always subject to change. Just because you were quoted something and you call back a minute later does not mean the price will be the same.
  • If you are booking with a travel agent make sure to get their cell phone so you can reach them after office hours. At Delta Vacations we cannot legally take a consumer phone call if they’re working with a travel agent unless it’s the day of travel. So if it’s an emergency make sure you can reach your travel agent or another travel agent in the office.
  • If you are a registered sex offender you may be denied access to get into many countries. The airline does not have access to your criminal records so you may fly into a new country, but be denied once you go through immigration. It is your responsibility to research what countries will allow you in.