The Travel Professor
Join me on a journey across the broad spectrum of interesting travel topics. We’ll discuss destinations domestic and abroad, some familiar and some off the beaten path. We take a look at suppliers like cruise lines, air carriers and tour operators and find their bargains and special offerings. Got questions? Email

Thursday, April 26, 2007

$10.00 each way airfares from Columbus, OH to select cities

Skybus, a new low cost start up airline based in Columbus, OH announced the cities that they will start serving on May 22nd. As an introductory offer they are offering $10.00 each way fares into their markets. At $20.00 round trip plus taxes & fees space is limited & will go fast. Initially they are flying into mid-major airports located near Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Richmond VA, Kansas City & Ft Lauderdale. But with what you save flying into Portsmouth, NH (BOSTON) you can rent a car or catch public transportation into Beantown.
For more information & reservations visit:

Now I just need to decide on where to go for a summer break. Shopping on Rodeo Dr in La La land or BBQ in KC. At $20.00 roundtrip it might be a few places.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Understanding airline language or lingo is very important

Following up on my recent air travel adventures I thought I’d share some airline lingo/terminology that might make your travel experience a little better.

· A confirmed seat on flight means that you have a reservation but not a specific seat. Try to get an assigned seat if possible.

· A seat assignment means that you have a specific seat reserved on the plane which means you’ve got a great chance of getting out if the flight departs.

· If they have “listed” you for a flight that means that you do not a reservation but are on a stand by list. Stand by means if the carrier has seats available that they will reaccommodate on a space available basis. You will be one of the last ones to board the flight and if they are full then you don’t go. If it’s the airline’s fault-a cancelled or delayed flight-demand that they confirm you on their flights or another carrier. Speak up as airport personnel will not often offer these options.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Airline flight reconfirmations & more

It’s 5:00am and I’m at the airport ready for an early morning flight. Problem is that my flight’s cancelled and I need to play the rebooking game at the airport.

Yes, shame on me as I should known better and should have taken the steps to prevent this problem and rebook myself.

A few simple steps could have prevented this early morning headache. The airline only had my home telephone number and in their defense they called about 10 hours prior to scheduled departure time. Had I provided my cell phone we could have connected and worked on alternative flight reservations.

And had I followed the basic rule of flight reconfirmation I would have discovered the issues prior to departing to the airport.

So provide as many contacts to suppliers as possible-home, business, cell phones, fax numbers even numbers where you will be at on the road.

In the event of any irregularities your travel suppliers will be able to contact you and possibly prevent any travel problems.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Travel Planning

As the summer vacation season approaches let’s talk about some web based trip planning tools that can assist you in crafting the perfect getaway. I believe that extensive research prior to departure will make you a more informed traveler and allow for a more pleasurable journey. Depending on the complexity of my itinerary I like to start my planning 6-8 months in advance but there’s still plenty of time left for you to get started on this summer.

Hopefully you have an idea of where you’d like to visit along with a notion of what you want to see and do. Once you’ve selected one or more destinations visit the Tourism Offices Worldwide Directory at The Tourism Offices Worldwide Directory is your guide to official tourist information sources: government tourism offices, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, and similar organizations that provide free, accurate, and unbiased travel information to the public. Businesses such as travel agents, tour operators, and hotels are not included. However this information can be obtained from the local tourism offices and visitors bureaus.

More to follow on travel planning!

Damaged bags

In response to the person who noticed at home that her luggage was damaged:

You should always inspect your luggage when it comes off the baggage carousels. If you spot any significant damage, file a claim immediately with the airline baggage office inside the airport. The airline rep will usually insist on seeing the damage firsthand. About the only other course of action would be to write a letter to the carrier. You should be able to get a customer service address, telephone number or email address of the the airlines web site.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

American Airlines launches web site for women travelers

Noticing that nearly 50 million female travelers board their flights annually, American Airlines has launched, an online resource specifically designed for its female customers. This site’s content includes a booking engine, information on safety and security; saving time and money while traveling; traveling with friends, family or partners; and stories and advice from other women travelers.

For more information, visit

Friday, April 6, 2007

A million airline frequent flyer miles & nowhere to go

While exchanging comments with a colleague at the copy machine the other morning he confided that he had accumulated about 1 million airline frequent flyer miles and was going to redeem some of them for a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii in early June.

Good luck was my response. Then I proceeded to tell about my quest of trying to get frequent flyer (free) seats into Albuquerque New Mexico this summer. My search has continued unsuccessfully since last December. There are seats available but I can’t match up decent departure and return flights. It seems that I either have to spend 2 or 27 days in the high desert, not my desired week to 10 days. I’m just about ready to go plan B break out the credit card, purchase tickets and earn more miles than I may never be able to redeem. But at least I’m playing the game and getting to NM!

So the point of the story is if you can’t get to New Mexico on airline freebies what makes you think that flights to Hawaii would be available anytime you wanted to travel. OK the airlines might make these seats available on your desired city pairs but you have to play their game. Start checking around 330 days in advance of when you want to travel and then keep checking & checking & continue checking. When you find what you’re looking for, grab the space and reserve it. Avoid peak travel periods and look for alternative airports-say Oakland CA instead of San Francisco.
And be flexible.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Walt Disney World College program is recruiting in Huntington WV

The WDW college program is a paid educational work experience that is based in Orlando, FL.

Disney recruiters will be conducting a group presentation on April 11th & 12th at 5:0pm. The location is the Drinko Library Room 349 located on the campus of Marshall University in Huntington, WV.

Interested applicants should visit, complete the on-line application, print a copy of it and bring it to the presentation with them.

If you are unable to attend the local presentation you can still view an E- presentation online and apply for the program.

The Disney College program is open to all majors and is a fairly competitive process.

Airline Rule 240: Don't Leave Home Without It!

Due to a recent slew of airline delays, cancellations, and missed connections I thought I’d review a little know rule known to the airlines as Rule 240.

Before airline deregulation in 1978, Rule 240 was literally a federal requirement. Nowadays, it's a term describing what individual airlines will do for late or stranded passengers. In fact, the major airlines have filed "conditions of carriage" with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) guaranteeing their respective Rule 240s.

If your flight is delayed or cancelled, or if you've missed your flight connection, these policies may give you free meal vouchers, hotel accommodations, phone calls, and other amenities. You may be booked on a substitute flight -- even on another airline -- and you may be compensated or given a full refund if the flight problems persist.

How can you use Rule 240 to protect your rights? Always carry a printed copy of your airline's Rule 240. Though the DOT requires airlines to keep a Rule 240 copy available for passengers at every ticket counter, don't count on that.

Read Rule 240 carefully before you use it. Many airline ticket agents do not know these policies, so you should be the expert. If they are aware of Rule 240 many will feign ignorance and attempt to give you the run around. Be polite but very firm about your rights under Rule 240. You'll win most battles at ticket counters when you say the phrase "Rule 240" and show the agent your printed copy of the airline's policies. However, don't hesitate to keep going up the chain to supervisors if you're not satisfied. Sometimes, airlines will even go beyond Rule 240 requirements in the name of customer service.

For example, Rule 240s generally apply only to delays that are absolutely the airline's fault, such as mechanical delays or one that I frequently encounter-we are waiting on a flight crew.

Rule 240 does not apply to what the airlines call "force majeure" events: weather, strikes, "acts of God," or other occurrences that the airlines say they cannot control.

Browse your airline’s website and look for their “customer bill of rights” posting. Again read this information and become familiar with these policies. Having a print out of your passenger is not a bad idea as you can refer to it if you experience any flight irregularities. As always being informed traveler make you a better traveler.