BOSTON, May 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- There's an expression that "the devil is in the details," meaning that the little things we overlook can be what end up mattering the most. That can certainly be the case when it comes to travel, especially air travel. From avoidable fees to built-in protections to insurance you may not have even realized you had, there are lots of ways to shave costs, save time and make sure you get compensated if something doesn't go according to plan. You just need to know what's in the fine print.
To point travelers to the details that matter, the travel experts at Cheapflights.com, the leader in finding and publishing online travel deals, have pulled out the magnifying glass, zeroed in on the fine print, and pulled out a line-up of often-overlooked rules that can make or break a vacation. Whether your flying has been trouble free or you've encountered the unfriendly skies more than once, the details uncovered in Travel hacks: Ways it pays to read the fine print are a guide to what to watch for at every step in your next trip.
Here are just some of the time, money and frustration-saving details the team has compiled:
- CREDIT CARD FINE PRINT:
- Look for hidden insurance coverage: Some credit cards also include travel insurance (cancellation insurance), reimbursing you when you use the card to book your trip, but cancel it prior to departure for certain situations like getting sick. Some credit cards also offer primary or secondary auto insurance if you book your rental car with their cards. The insurance typically is limited to collision damage and theft protection and doesn't usually cover personal injury or personal liability (though your auto insurance or health insurance likely does). The advantage of a card that offers primary auto insurance is that you can report any accidents directly with the credit card company, bypassing your insurance company, which means your auto insurance rate won't increase. More commonly, credit cards offer secondary auto insurance that should pick up where your primary insurance leaves off. When you apply for a credit card, ask what coverage, if any, is included
- Don't pay double: Don't pay twice for services or miss out on reimbursements. Read the fine print for your credit card and its award programs. For example, many American Express Premier Rewards Gold Account members may receive up to $100 per year in statement credits towards purchases like checked bags, in-flight meals, and airport lounge day passes.
- FINE PRINT WHEN BOOKING:
- Take your time to think (and shop): Many airlines will hold a reservation for 24 hours without payment. Others require payment at the time of reservation but provide a full refund if travelers cancel within the first 24 hour.
- Don't pay to rebook because of inclement weather: If a flight is canceled by the airline, then re-booking fees are waived, particularly when there is severe weather.
- Ask about new sales: After you buy your ticket, check with the airline or travel agent once or twice before departure to check the fare. Fares change all the time, and, if the fare you paid goes down before you fly, some airlines will refund the difference (or give you a transportation credit for that amount).
- BAGGAGE FINE PRINT:
- Know what happens if your precious cargo is damaged: If your suitcase arrives smashed or torn, the airline will usually pay for repairs. If it can't be fixed, you and the airline can negotiate a settlement for the airline to pay the suitcase's depreciated value. Note: if you have packed your suitcase to the seams, the airline may let you know at check-in that your suitcase may not survive intact and may require you to sign a statement that you are agreeing to check your over-stuffed bag at your own risk. Even if you sign the form, the airline might still be liable if exterior damage is caused by the airline's negligence.
- WHAT TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELING:
- Overbooking is not illegal, but you may be compensated: Overbooking is not illegal and is actually quite common. Most airlines overbook flights to compensate for no-shows. In the case when overbooking results in there being more passengers than seats, airlines are on the hook for compensating passengers who are bumped, voluntarily or involuntarily, from the flight.
- Compensation details: How much compensation you are entitled to and how you go about getting it can vary by airline, but a few guidelines apply to all U.S. carriers. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires each airline "to give all passengers who are bumped involuntarily a written statement describing their rights and explaining how the carrier decides who gets on an oversold flight and who doesn't. Those travelers who don't get to fly are frequently entitled to denied boarding compensation in the form of a check or cash. Airlines may offer free tickets or dollar-amount vouchers for future flights in place of a check for denied boarding compensation. However, if you are bumped involuntarily you have the right to insist on a check if you want cash.
- MAKING A CLAIM:
- Know which fees are refundable: Often, there are refundable fees, such as for a day-of-departure upgrade, that are reimbursable if the service doesn't happen. Airlines must refund you the fees charged for optional services such as in-flight Wi-Fi or seat assignment fees that you are unable to use due to an over-sale situation or flight cancellation.
- Know your deadlines: If you purchase plane tickets and a problem arises, keep in mind the legal deadline for disputing a credit card charge is 60 days. If your luggage is lost, each airline limits the amount of time you have to make a claim.
Our fine print primer offers plenty more ways savvy travelers can save money, avoid charges or make sure they get any refunds or compensation they are due. To read the full Travel hacks: Ways it pays to read the fine print, head to www.cheapflights.com/news/travel-hacks-from-reading-fine-print.
About Cheapflights.com, part of the Momondo Group
Founded in 1996, Cheapflights is a leading global flight comparison and deals publishing platform. It is now a market leader in the UK, U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand generating over $3 billion in global downstream revenue for its partners as it expands into numerous other territories. More than 120 million users visit its websites and apps each year, receiving more than two billion search results a month from across 900,000 routes. The 10 million strong opt-in subscribers to the Cheapflights newsletter receive the best deals from over 120 travel businesses – for whom it has driven more than $65 million in revenue this year. Together, the Cheapflights platforms generate enough bookings for its partners to fill a Boeing 747 every five minutes.
In 2011, Cheapflights became part of the privately owned online travel search and inspiration network, Momondo Group.
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