Sunday, March 11, 2012

Itinerary Change, But No Big Deal

I recently received an email from our RTW (round the world) flight broker at AirTreks, informing us that 2 of our booked flights had been canceled by the airlines. The email gave us various options and requested we call them to discuss the details and make other arrangements. I did and we ended up better off than we originally were.

The Caracas to Quito leg of the Atlanta-Miami-Caracas-Quito flight was canceled for the day we had booked but we could book for the next day. This option would have required us to layover one night in Caracas, Venezuela or Miami, Florida. Since we have no real desire to see Hugo Chavez in Caracas (ha, ha), we opted to spend the night in Miami instead, saving us a trip through Caracas's customs and immigration. I immediately got on Hotwire and booked a great hotel at Miami Beach for $131. The AirTreks representative informed us that our travel insurance would pay up to $150 night for the hotel. How sweet is a free night at Miami Beach? FYI, there is an express bus from the airport to Miami/South Beach. Route 150 and it cost $2.35.

Our other flight cancelation was the leg from Istanbul to Tel Aviv, Israel. We were able to change airlines at no extra costs and actually shaved a good bit of flying time. Our original flight went through Riga, Latvia (google the location and you'll see how out of the way that was!). Now we are routed through Athens, Greece. So if there is no big strike in Greece and no bombs falling on Israel the week we are there (kidding, mom), we are set. I've got to say that AirTreks has some great customer service and they have handled all of this very nicely.