Timely Tips© Volume 2 Issue 2: February 2005 — "The Travel Maestro -- Part II"
So you are sitting at your gate in the airport, waiting patiently for the agents to call for boarding for your flight. And then, out of nowhere, the announcement comes across the loudspeaker, "Flight 371 Washington to Detroit has been canceled due to mechanical difficulties. Please see the gate agent to reschedule your flight." Your flight has just been canceled. What do you do???
Well, if you are like most people, you immediately jump up and make a mad dash to the agent counter, just like 200 other people, and your ability to get back home today, or make it to that critical meeting, completely depends on how fast you can sprint! Or, if you are a savvy traveler, you pull out your PDA or planner, look up the 800 reservations number for your airline, casually pull out your cell phone, and call the 800-number without panic. By the time the second person in line starts talking to an agent, you are already speaking with the telephone ticket agent and rescheduling your flight -- thus bypassing all of those poor souls standing in the ticket line.
This is one of the better traveling tips that I've come across over the years, and I've actually had the opportunity to use it once or twice. It is a great little time saving tip, but it works best if you have that 800-number handy. Every minute you lose trying to track that number down means more seats from the next flight are disappearing.
Because of this, I make a regular habit of keeping valuable travel-related 800 numbers in my PDA. I have a special category in my PDA "Memo Pad" named "Travel". In this category, I have memos with important 800-numbers, not only for the airlines, but also for major hotel chains and car rental chains. That way, whenever I need them, I've got them handy and ready to use. (The "Travel" category would also be a good place to store your "packing list" memos mentioned in last month's
I have added these memos to my Web site, http://www.randalldean.com (click on the link to the free Memo Pad downloads), so that you can easily cut and paste them into your own PDA
Memo Pad, or simply print them out and add to your planner. Now, of course, these memos are not comprehensive -- they list some of the larger national airlines, hotel chains, and car rental organizations. If you frequently travel to other parts of the world, or use hotels or car rental companies not on these lists, note the "Resources" listing at the bottom of these memos. You can visit these Web sites for significantly more comprehensive 800-number lists, as well as links to these companies' web sites. Add whatever companies that you frequently use to your
list, to make the information customized to you.
I hope this helps you become a more organized traveler, as well as save you some valuable time over the years while traveling. Next month, I'll share one more very handy traveler tip. Until then, stay Timely!