Travel Blog
6/29/2017 12:54:46 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment


So I got wind of a scam today.  I was involved, but I really didn't get scammed.  Somehow, somebody found out about product I got from Amazon, whined to Amazon that there was something wrong with mine, and Amazon sent them a free one.  In my name.  To a mail forwarding service in Nevada in my name.

It got me thinking about Travel Agent scams.  Seems like every couple of months, we read about some TA that's been busted, or going to court, or sentenced for their travel scams.  We hate it.  It casts aspersions on the whole industry.

There are two really some easy ways to avoid being caught by one of these scams.

  1. Make sure you use a credit card.  That way, you can verify that your TA is running it through the supplier's (cruise line, wholesaler, etc.) system, not their own.  You can double check that through your bank statement.  It costs us 4% per transaction.  We're not absorbing that cost just to be a middle man.
  2. Demand to see confirmations from the supplier.  Yes, I'm sure they can be photoshopped or something else.  But if you're concerned about your TA, keep forcing them to the next level.

Now having said that, there are some times that we as TA's have to deal with a supplier that needs a group check from us, not 20 indvidual payments.  That's where the scammers have the upper hand.  You pay them expecting them to pay the supplier.  They don't.  That's where you, again, need something from the supplier.  In writing, on their letterhead or website.  Something to confirm that you have a reservation.

It's that old thing, if it's too good to be true, it probably is.  We all want to be trusting, but we all read the news and we know it's possible.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to answer an email from a Prince from Nigeria that wants an international flight.  it's not a scam.  He will send me a cashier's cheque once I set it up.  (We get at least one of these emails a week.)

Late Flights After a Cruise

We have clients who want to self assist, earliest flights possible and rush, rush, rush to leave their cruise vacation.  That's fine and we understand it.

When we travel, however, we are the extreme opposite.  We've been told we have to leave.  We've had guys holler down the runway to the guys at the end that we were the last ones and close the door.  We've been called by the porters that our luggage hadn't been picked up yet, and we have priority embarkation.  (Me:  "um, that's because we're still eating breakfast on the ship and we haven't left yet.")  You get the picture.

So we're flying out of Fort Lauderdale next month after a cruise in Miami on the Carnival Vista, and we have a later (5:55p) flight.  Years ago, in Tampa, we had a similar situation and if you've ever cruised from Tampa, you know that the airport (like in Lauderdale) is very close to the cruise port.  We couldn't check in for our flight.  We sat there until check in could begin.  It was a horrible few hours.

So here's our plan for now, years later, with all kinds of technology at our disposal.

We'll still be the last ones off the ship in Miami.  We'll take the Carnival transfers back to FLL, which should get us there around 11:30 or noon.  Too early to check in our luggage for our flight.  We've checked, and FLL has storage.  We'll store our bags there at the airport.  We're going to take an Uber to one of the many places we've enjoyed in the past at Lauderdale or maybe find someplace new.  We'll do that research well in advance.  Then, we'll Uber back to the airport, check in and wait on our flights.

How about you?

We Begin!
6/28/2017 11:41:53 AM Link 0 comments | Add comment

Been wanting for quite awhile to start a blog with travel ideas, tips, suggestions, experiences -- and we finally have the time!

Feel free to chime in, suggest, comment, or share.  

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