Distressed Traveller

4 01 2008

J was stuck in Florida en route back home from the holidays and was forced to spend a night in a hotel in Dallas before connecting to a flight back home. If you are stuck in an airport in the US because of weather delay, rerouting, canceled flight or other situation beyond your control and your airline does not offer a room voucher at a local hotel, reuqet a “distressed traveler rate” as airlines typically contract a certain number of hotel rooms for personnel and stranded travellers and properties can offer over night (1) rates at a significant discount – the hotels will be proximate to the airport so you can easily get back to make your schedule flight and transfers are free upon request. This means you have to request transfer vouchers. You should ring the local properties (if your airline carrier does not give you a list) in the greater metropolitan area for similar prices as they might match the offer. Ring your preferred hotel’s front desk directly, not a central reservations line, and specifically ask for the “distressed traveller” rate. And steal bath products.

If not too exhausted from the ordeal, do a little legwork before accepting the first DT rate quoted. Checking these rates against online-only prices may get you a better price. If you are quoted a DT price that is at least US$100 less, you are getting a decent deal. Ask your airlinr for assistance – if they do not compensate your room or offer you the DT discount, as for vouchers for a future flight or comparable recompense.