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Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

March 03, 2013

This thread also appears on the OAT web site, however, there may be some who don't peruse that site.  So we've posted it here as well.  We've all be reading about this, but as travellers, there are practical consequences we have to deal with.  So we're starting this thread so everyone can share experiences and offer good advice to fellow travellers in coping with the effects( if any ) when we travel.  If you notice any difference in procedures on exiting or entering the U.S. when you travel, post them, so others using the same facilities can prepare and hopefully avoid any aggrevation.  We realize that all of us use different airports or ports, so the more replies, the better.  Perhaps even Michelle can post some official suggestions that the company has to offer for dealing with these effects as well.  While we can't do much to remediate the politics, we can at least try to help each other.  So post your experiences and suggestions. 

Author: fms1932

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 2
Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2010

March 03, 2013

Author: fms1932

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 2
Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2010

March 03, 2013

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 241
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

March 03, 2013

One thing we can all do is 1) make sure GCT or your flight providers give you enough time between flights in case of delays all the way around (late departures, baggage delays, etc.  2) give yourself enough time to go through security, and 3) even if you check your bags, there are bound to be lines there because of reduced staff. 

I know for us, with both of us having knees replaced, we have to give ourselves enough time to get wanded, even when we go through xray screening, we still get wanded.  All this makes delays possible, especially when you are in back of someone who is really getting the third degree wanding, and then you, too.  So, that's one of our ways--arrive at airport early.

Also on the flights check what GCT arranges (or your flight provider) for you.  On a time when I hadn't checked in several weeks, when I finally did, I noticed both airlines we had to fly on from our airport, connecting to the other airport, for the flight to Europe, changed flight departure times; that gave  us only 50 minutes between flights; if we didn't leave our airport on time, we wouldn't  have made the Europe flight departure at all.  I emailed immediately to the Air Dept GCTand within a few minutes we had even better flights, but the best ones had already been taken.  We got the last available flight that we would accept.  You never know what can happen, so check your flights often (I do it once a week).

 

Author: avalarue

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 68
Trips Taken: 8
Traveler Since: 2008

March 03, 2013

I'm so glad you brought this up. I just looked at my flight schedule and found that one of our flights had been canceled by the airline and we were put on an earlier flight, giving us only one hour to go through customs and get to our next gate. I'll call tomorrow and see if I can get a later flight.

So yes, it's a good idea to check the flight itinerary often. Thanks!

Author: avalarue

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 68
Trips Taken: 8
Traveler Since: 2008

March 04, 2013

Just got off the phone with GCT and had my flight changed and confirmed in less than five minutes! Thanks, Grand Circle!

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 241
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

March 04, 2013

I'm back again on this thread.  TSA has issued comments on sequestering and what may happen from their standpoint.

Here is the website:

http://www.executivetravelmagazine.com/blogs/air-travel-news/2013/3/3/air-traffic-controllers-issue-dire-warning-for-budget-sequester

Like I said above, check flights, be mindful there will be delays (I didn't say may ! ).  Keep a happy face if you are delayed.  You know, I'd rather be in an airport awaiting my flight longer times than be on my way to an airport in heavy traffic, or arrive at the airport when there are long lines and I barely make my flight.  So, everyone be proactive. 

This all will go away some day!

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

March 05, 2013

  It was reported in the WSJ today that some airports are experiencing longer waits on lines for immigration entry and TSA screening of around 150%, due to primnarily sequester cutbacks in overtime.  It is expected to get somewhat worse.  Given this, it makes having Global Entry more beneficial, as you won't have to wait on the entry immigration line, or the customs line, and if you happen to take a domestic flight, bypass the regular TSA lines in favor of an expedited screening.

Author: garyrr

Joined: 8/25/2012
Posts: 118
Trips Taken: 17
Countries Visited:

Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, S Africa, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Peru, New Zealand, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia

Traveler Since: 2000

March 05, 2013

Too bad that "PreCheck" doesn't work for the domestic leg(s) of a trip that includes international trips.   You come back, fly thru customs/immigration - then have to recheck in thru security for the domestic flight and can't use PreCheck.  (At least, the descriptions on the TSA web site describe it that way -  I haven't experienced that first hand.)

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 534
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

March 05, 2013

Sequester or not, you should always keep an eye on your air reservations to be alert for cancelations or time changes. Any change can bump you out of the seat you've chosen. This has been going on for years, but may happen more frequently now.

When it's happened to me the airline has either called or e-mailed, but there were times when I got the message too late to get the seat that I'd reserved but a few times I got a better one. 

Author: wattsed

Joined: 3/30/2010
Posts: 138
Trips Taken: 3
Countries Visited:

All seven continents, 113 countries and all states except Hawaii and Idaho.Plus some interesting places that are not countries such as The zores, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, etc.

Traveler Since: 2010

March 05, 2013

Cutting back on overtime???  If this is the case something was wrong with management having to use and to deal with massive overtime in the first place!!  Well I guess I should have stated it differently since I know that TSA management is not the best in the world to start with...

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

March 05, 2013

That was my first reaction too, Ed.  I was always taught that if you had to use overtime as a constant thing, either you didn't have enough personnel or the work wasn't organized effectively.

As far as getting to the airport early, I always do and always have even before we were required to do so.  I'd rather wait there checked in than at home waiting to leave or in traffic  trying to get there on time.

And after somebody's experience last year  -  was it Captain Larry?  -  when his flight kept changing, I go into my air itinerary every week.  Just in case.

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

March 05, 2013

 Without going too far afield from the topic, the use of overtime is a very clever management tactic.  Employees get benefits.  If additional new employees were hired to replace those working overtime, it requires additional payment for benefits; using overtime precludes management having to pay benefits in addition to salary, since employees on overtime do not cost additional amounts for benefits, consequently saving money.  Cutting overtime, is a very effective way to come into budgetary complaince without having to lay off employees.  It does, however, offer fewer employees providing services to the public at any specific time, causing longer waits for those who receive those services.  At any rate, that's just what was reported; we're just passing it along.   We've got a few suggestions for coping;  maybe we can get some more. 

However, Gary brings out a very valid point about Pre-Check not working if your international flight includes a U.S Domestic connection.  If you're booked through on one booking code, the entire trip is read as an international flight, not subject to Pre-Check.  However, if the airline books the flights as with two separate booking codes, which they can do if theya are so inclined, which unfortunately, they rarely are, you will be able to use TSA Pre-Check that your Trusted Traveler Status affords from Global Entry for the domestic portion of your international flight.  If that's thecase, and you have Global Entry, you can ask the airline to book with two distinct codes.  If they do, you may not be able to check your luggage through, and may have to pick it up between flights( which you'll have to do anyway coming home ), and the airline may not hold the connecting international flight, which they sometimes do if a connection is late, since you have a separate code.  We would surmise that if that's the case, you will not likely be able to ask for separate booking codes if you book through Grand Circle.  But booking the air yourself doesn't gurantee you'll get that either.  

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