ELAL’s New Route to Orlando

ELAL has announced plans to open a direct route between Orlando, Florida and Tel Aviv beginning Summer 2019.

The flights will operate on Tuesdays in both directions. Flights leaving Tel Aviv depart at 00:05 and have a travel time of 13:25, arriving in Orlando at 06:30 on Tuesday morning.

Flights leaving Orlando depart at 11:30 and have a travel time of 12:00, arriving in Tel Aviv at 06:30 on Wednesday morning.

The aircraft for this route will be the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Boeing 777.

Tips for Traveling During Winter Storms

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

When winter weather hits, here are some top tips to help travelers get to their destinations safely.

Skip the first and last flights. If you’re traveling during seasons with a high likelihood of inclement weather, you may want to avoid the first or last flight of the day since these flights have a higher frequency of being canceled, depending on the start and end time of the storm.

Reroute a connecting flight. There are times the weather in your departure city and at your destination is clear, but weather in your connecting city is less than desirable. If that happens, a travel advisor can help you reroute your connection flight through an airport with no delays.

Take advantage of travel waivers. Often airlines will issue travel waivers that allow you to re-book your ticket away from the affected dates at no additional charge. You should take advantage of these when they post. Your travel advisor monitors these, but you can, too.

Avoid booking flights at the ticket counter. If you must buy a new ticket, avoid doing so at the airport ticket counter, or else you will likely pay a higher rate. Call a travel advisor to book you, even if you are standing in an airport.

Consider larger airports and travel light. If you suspect there may be severe weather threats during your time of travel, consider flying from a larger airport. Larger international airports will have a greater chance of more alternate flights, and they are also better equipped to clear runways faster or with de-icing of a plane.

Pack carry-on with necessities. If you travel with only a carry-on, you’ll be in a better position to change flights quickly in the event of a cancellation. If you must check luggage, make sure your carry-on has essential necessities, such as all of your prescription medications and a couple of changes of clothes. If you’re flying to a warm-weather destination, include your swim wear so you can relax by the pool or on the beach while the rest of your luggage catches up with you.

Hotels offer cancellation waivers. If severe weather will keep you from arriving at your destination hotel, your hotel management is often quite accommodating by offering cancellation waivers to help you avoid no-show or late arrival fees. However, do notify your hotel as soon as possible if you will not be able to make it to your destination, or contact your travel advisor who can reach out to all of your reservations, from car rental to hotel or group tours to let them know.

Book a room early if you’re facing an overnight delay. If it seems weather conditions will keep you from getting to your final destination that same day, it is important to make a room reservation for an overnight stay as soon as possible. A travel advisor who has built relationships with hotels should be able to help find you a room so that you’re not sleeping on an airport cot with stranded travelers.

Sign up for travel insurance. For those instances where you may miss a flight because you were stuck in traffic or your ship sailed without you when your flight was canceled or delayed, travel insurance can be your saving grace to recoup all or part of your travel investment. Your Travel Consultant can help explain your various options for the different types of travel insurance.

Get travel advisories or weather alerts delivered to your phone. There are several apps that allow you to receive email or text message notifications from your airline about your flight’s status. A weather.com app can keep you updated about conditions.

Stay on the main roads. If you’re driving between destinations, stick to major highways or well-traveled roads to facilitate other people coming to your rescue easily should you need assistance. Travel also during daylight hours or when car repair shops or convenience stores are more likely to be open. If you’re stranded in your vehicle for an extended period, run your engine for only a few minutes once or twice an hour to stay warm and conserve gas. While the car is running, be sure to slightly roll down a window to keep carbon monoxide from building up inside.

Pack an emergency travel kit. Whether you’re driving, flying or traveling by rail, prepare for possible delays with a few essentials. Pack a small bag with an extra sweater, gloves or small throw, as well as water and high-energy or high-protein foods such as granola bars or beef jerky. You may also want to pack a toothbrush and toothpaste, a change of underwear and any needed prescription medications. Remember also a flashlight, extra batteries, or phone charger, a first aid kit and a good book.

Book with a travel advisor. Weather-related travel delays inevitably happen at times, from heavier traffic on the highways to delayed or canceled flights. However, the unexpected challenges need not stress out travelers with a little added planning and some advice from a seasoned travel agent. You travel advisors are trained to monitor situations like winter weather that may impact their clients’ travel plans. As result, they can work on alternative travel plans and can likely have those in place with the airline, hotel or car and driver the moment the need arises.

United Changes Boarding Process

United Airlines has changed the boarding process to improve the customer’s experience. In the video below the spokesman explains that United tried and reviewed the new process in various airports around the world “until we got it just right.” In time we’ll see if they got it just right or not. I’m not sure that certain things (like the boarding process) can made just right, particularly when so many different people (i.e., personalities) are involved.

Here’s United’s 2min22sec video that explains the process.

If you miss or may miss your flight …

If you miss your flight, don’t stress out. There’s more than one way to save your vacation or business trip.

What to do if you miss your flight

If you think you’re going to miss a flight, call your airline immediately, experts say. The sooner your airline knows that you’ll be late, the more options it has to fix it.

Although airlines often charge you for a new ticket if you miss a flight, there are important exceptions. But to find out if you qualify, you need to act fast. Calling the airline before your departure can significantly increase your chances of getting rebooked on the next flight at no additional charge.

How to fix a missed flight

It helps to understand what’s happening behind the scenes. When you miss a flight, it also puts your airline in a difficult position. Chances are, your seat has flown empty. Rebooking you on the next flight means giving you a free ticket. That’s why letting the airline know you’ll be late is so important; it allows the carrier to release the seat and maybe resell it, offsetting the lost revenue.

Your reasons for missing a flight matter

If you are at the counter, be polite, explain why you are late. Was the airport exit congested? Did it take too long to get to the counter? Make the case that you were late as a function of trying to get to the airport or counter or running to the gate. Most airlines have an informal “flat tire” rule that allows them to book you on the next available flight if you have a good reason for getting to the airport late, like, say, a flat tire. Those may include a medical emergency, an accident on the way to the airport or some documentable event beyond your control.

Typically, sleeping through your alarm doesn’t count, but agents have some flexibility in how they can apply the flat tire rule.

Airlines tend to throw the book in your face if you don’t have a good reason for being late and you tell them after the flight leaves. That’s when you normally have to buy a new ticket. But a little politeness can overcome this obstacle, too. Time and again, travelers say that being nice instead of demanding has gotten them on the next flight at no additional charge.

What are your rights when you miss a flight?

If you missed a flight because you were late to the airport, you don’t have any real rights. Most airlines will classify you as a “no-show” and keep your money. Note that your return flight will also be canceled automatically. If you contact the carrier before the flight departs, you may be able to get a partial ticket credit depending on the kind of ticket you have.

But if you miss a connecting flight, you’re not out of luck. Under most domestic airline policies — which are outlined in the contract of carriage on the airline website — if you miss a connection, it will rebook you on the next flight at no charge. If that means staying at the airport overnight, the airline will cover a hotel stay. For example, American Airlines will pay for a hotel if the delay is “within our control or you were diverted to another city, and we don’t board to your final destination before 11:59 p.m. local time,” according to its contract.

EU Regulation 261/2004

If you miss a connection on a flight to Europe, you might be entitled to even more. For certain missed connections European consumer regulations provide up to 600 euros, plus rerouting or a flight back to your point of departure at no extra cost.

When you’re on an international flight going to Europe and miss your connection because of the delay or cancellation of the first flight, you have rights,” says Thomas Busson, a spokesman for ClaimCompass, a service that helps passengers obtain compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004, the European consumer rule.

But here’s the best advice of all: Don’t be late. Set an alarm and don’t forget to turn up the volume on your phone. Set a calendar reminder with your flight itinerary. And give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. Airlines such as United even publish check-in processing times to allow for better planning.

Tips for handling a missed flight

• Know the rules. Keep a copy of your airline’s contract of carriage (available from its website) or EU Regulation 261 on your smartphone for quick access. You can find a full copy of EU Regulation 261 on the EU website: eur-lex.europa.eu.

• Use a travel agent. A trusted travel adviser can help you schedule your ground transportation to ensure you get to the terminal on time. In-the-know agents can also quickly find the next available flight and use their connections to rebook you with a minimum of fuss.

• Think outside the box. There’s more than one way to get to your final destination. You can rent a car and get to your destination, within a reasonable distance. Problem solved. Lesson learned? “Consider other travel options if there is going to be a long delay to get to your final destination.

Avoiding the Flu While Flying

The Associated Press is reporting on a recently published study that confirms “what some experts have been saying for years,” namely, that flying in a window seat might help travelers avoid the flu and/or colds.

Lead researcher Vicki Stover Hertzberg of Emory University, says,

get in that window seat and don’t move.

You can read the complete article here.

Discipleship Travel LLC comments:

We have found Purell Sanitizing Wipes (see box below) to be a helpful airport travel item. We use them to clean the seat area, including armrests, seat belt buckle, tray table, etc., before getting settled into our seats.