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Entries during 2017-10

The Best Booking Options for Round-the-World Tickets

Q. I remember years ago one could buy a "round-the-world" ticket at a reasonable price. You could stop anywhere as long as it was in one direction, and you had a year to use it. With tickets being bought online these days I dont know how to figure out the least expensive round the world ticket.

We would like to buy one for our daughter who is graduating from college at the end of the semester, though she might not be using it until next spring. Any comments or thoughts on this subject would be greatly appreciated!

A. You can search online through your preferred airline alliance (OneWorld, SkyTeam, Star Alliance...) but rules and restrictions are awfully complicated for RTW ticketing. Generally, the passenger must travel in the same direction, no backtracking allowed. Some plans go by miles, others by segments, stops, continents. You might find it easier to give your choice of airline a call or, better still, drop by the nearest ticketing office to plan it out in person. Another option (and most likely the least expensive) is to book through a company that specializes in planning such trips. AirTreks is an excellent place to begin, and offers more varied itineraries with fewer restrictions.

One Carry On, One Personal Item

Q. I plan on flying with my purse, my laptop case, and with my wheeled bag. Would three items be too much for carry-ons? My purse and laptop always go under the seat and my bag in the overhead compartment.

A. Unfortunately, many airlines would prohibit you from carrying on three items. I was recently stopped from boarding with a suitcase, backpack and a shopping bag. Luckily, I was able to cram the contents of the shopping bag into the other two items but the gate agent was not very pleasant about it. So I recommend putting the laptop in your wheeled suitcase, or doing whatever it takes to satisfy the 1 carry-on/1 personal item rule.

The Trouble with Airline Vouchers

Q. Earlier this year, I was flying Delta from Atlanta to Philadelphia when an agent asked me if I'd be interested in getting off the flight in exchange for a $300 voucher and taking a later flight. I agreed and was given the $300 voucher, good for 12 months. My plan was to use the voucher on an overseas trip with my family within the year. However, Delta did not honor the voucher when the family trip was booked because the trip was through Delta's vacation club. So, now I have only a couple weeks left on this non-transferable, non-extendable voucher. Unfortunately, I'm unable to travel within the next couple of weeks due to business commitments.
 
Is there any recourse for me, outside of losing value of the voucher?
 
A. If you were bumped due to an oversell situation, you should definitely not have been given a voucher. Delta should have given you cash. Airlines have been fined by the US DOT for offering vouchers rather than cash in oversell situations. Read this for example.

If you were indeed bumped because of an oversell, you should contact the airline and inform them that they were in violation of DOT rules and ask that the voucher be made into an all-cash compensation.

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