|Heading to the beach to soak up some sun? Does your travel reservation actually exist? Don’t let travel snafus or con artists wreck your plans.
Flying? Know your rights
Don’t let missed connections or lost luggage ruin your flight.
- If your flight is delayed or cancelled and the airline says there are no flights available, be proactive. Search a travel booking website. Oftentimes, seats are still available through these websites – even though the person at the airport desk may tell you otherwise.
- Always keep your valuables and irreplaceable items (jewelry, medications, glasses, expensive souvenirs, etc.) with you. Never pack valuables in checked luggage.
- Leave yourself extra time between connections in case your initial flight is delayed.
- Buy travel insurance if you’re splurging on a trip. Read the contract and check reviews for the insurers.
- Know your rights if your flight is delayed, your luggage is lost or you faced unexpected fees.
Avoid scams when booking stays
- Always read the fine print. Remember, the listing with the lowest price isn’t necessarily the best deal. Scammers may lure you in with low prices but tack on additional fees.
- Do your research. Go through a source you can trust – especially when booking online.
- Try using Google street map to view the address in the listing. Some spring breakers pay to rent a condo and later discover that the property doesn’t exist. Or, they may find the photos and description of the property were copied wholesale from a legitimate listing.
- Search to see if it’s a copycat ad. Use an internet search to see if phrases or photos in the ad were swiped from another listing.
- Never pay with cash or wire money. Pay with a credit card to protect yourself from fraud.
- Keep written copies of everything. You may need travel confirmations, email correspondence and receipts if a dispute arises.
- Don’t fall for a contest you never entered. If you receive an email saying you won a cruise, delete it. It’s a scam.
Check out the Federal Trade Commission’s travel game for additional tips.
File a complaint with the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs.
File complaints about air travel problems with the U.S. Department of Transportation.