If you have been doing a lot of searching for bookings, clear your computer browser web cache to insure you are seeing the most recent web page for a site. Instead of searching all the major sites, check with Kayak.com, it searches 120 travel and airline site and does not charge any booking fees. Once your find your flight, go to that airlines website and search for the same date and time to insure you do not miss out on some exclusive deal only offered on the airlines website.
Speed though airport security
Many large airports have additional screening points that, while out of the way, are seldom used and offer quicker service. To find the best checkpoint to use, log onto the Transportation Security Administration website, which lists security checkpoints at every U.S. airport and publishes the average wait times by the hour. It helps to know the layout at your airport, most are horseshoe shaped and have multiple screening points. If the terminals are connected beyond security, you can enter through the least busy line and make your way back to your gate. At airports with one central security checkpoint, the shorter lines are usually on the other edges. Airports with hotels attached have a separate security entrance for guests, but anyone may use it.
If your flight is canceled, call the airline’s registration number immediately (have it previously programmed into your speed dial).
For a better seat
Check online the day before departure to see if new seats are available, or ask at the gate, airlines release more seats just before takeoff.
Playing the bumping game
If your itinerary is flexible, ask at the gate if the flight is overbooked. If it is, ask for the airlines initial offer and get on the volunteer list (the list does not commit you but gives you right of first refusal). If you do not like the offer, you can hold out to see if the airline will sweeten the deal. If offered a free ticket, ask if there any restrictions, such as an expiration or blackout dates, and make sure you get a confirmed seat on your next flight.
For lost luggage
File a report at the airport and get the local number for the lost-baggage office, not the national 800 number.
Get the most for your frequent flyer miles
If you cannot get what you want online, talk to a live person, even if you have to pay an extra fee. Airline reservation agents can access inventory from partner airlines and can try different routings using connecting flights or alternative airports. Booking ahead is useful; most airlines make sets available 330 days in advance. However, frequent-flyer inventory is not always loaded that far in advance; three to six months ahead is the best time to book.
Upgrade your seat without paying more
In most cases, you can buy a first-class seat for just a little more than for a coach seat. Search for a fare code of “Y-up” or “Q-up” using FareCompare.com.
Getting a room in a sold-out hotel
Forget the hotel’s 800 number, the operators do not have the authority to manipulate a particular hotel’s inventory. Instead, call the hotel’s manager directly; hotels overbook because they know not everyone will show up. If this does not work, check with online room resellers. Some hotel inventory goes to third-party travel sites such as Expedia.com, Hotels.com, and Travelocity.com, which contract with hotels to sell a preset block of rooms.
Upgrade your room without paying more
Upgrading is all about timing, checking in during slower times is good, but first, you have to ask for an upgrade. Make small talk with the clerk before you get a room assignment, talking about how it is special occasion or how you have a lot of work to do, and then casually mention that it would be nice if you could get a better room.
Upgrade your rental car without paying more
Always book the cheapest car available. Rental car companies over book just like airlines and the cheapest cars are the most booked, so, when you check in, the company will most likely not have your cheap car and will upgrade you to a bigger one. In addition, if you show up in the middle of the day or early in the week when business travelers have the most cars out, you will have a better chance of an upgrade. Resort areas usually are the busiest on the weekends, so Saturday afternoon is the best time to score an upgrade in these areas.