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Author: debs

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 6
Trips Taken: 7
Traveler Since: 2008

September 22, 2010

Has anyone else experienced difficulties with the GCT Air Travel arrangements?  On our last trip the following occurred on various legs of our journey from Ft. Lauderdale: my husband and I were in different rows; the seats were in the last row (did not recline) and across from the lavatory; seats were in exit rows and did not recline.  I contacted GCT and they made an acceptable apology. 

We are now planning a trip to Spain.  Our very preliminary seat assignments had us, once again, not sitting together on our outgoing flight, but we are sitting together on the return.  Since these assignments are being made at least 6 months in advance, it is hard to understand why they couldn't find 2 seats together.  After contacting GCT an adjustment was made.  Why didn't someone in this department foresee that this may be a problem to a couple who are travelling together???

Now GCT has handled one leg of the journey, but the seats assigned to us on the return leg of the journey have disappeared.  So, I guess it's back to the drawing board and I have to contact them again!

Author: dinek

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 5
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2004

September 27, 2010

I always make adjustments to our seating arrangements on the airline website. that way I choose where we sit. We both prefer aisle seats so I select them from the seat selection chart on the website. Always doublecheck it a couple of weeks before the trip, too.

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 145
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2004

October 11, 2010

I always check the seating online on Seat guru on my particular flight or sometimes your airline has a chart of your flight showing available seats. 

Only once (before I knew how to check myself beforehand) did we have trouble and it was with British Airways and, unfortunately, we had a very "curt" Supervisory flight attendant who told me to get someone to change with me.  No one would want to be in a middle seat with strangers on either side.  They had my husband back a few rows so I was stuck in the middle.

This should not happen if you keep checking the seating charts stated above; both with the Airline and seat guru.

 

Author: cleopat

Joined: 6/26/2010
Posts: 16
Trips Taken: 3
Traveler Since: 2001

November 03, 2010

I spent over an hour on the phone with GCT Air department to pick our seats (wanted aisle and NOT the last row because I know the seat does not recline) and thought everything was fine -- until on our return from China we found that the return flight had been changed four months earlier and we were put last minute on an entirely different flight!  So now we didn't have ANY of the seats we had picked and I ended up sitting in a middle seat.  You would think that speaking with GCT Air for an hour, one week prior to departure, picking our seats that they would have known that the flight was changed!  Even our tour director in China didn't know.  Very poor air department at GCT! 

Author: liz109

Joined: 8/10/2010
Posts: 13
Trips Taken: 17
Countries Visited:

Albania, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia (pre-breakup), Czech Republic, Croatia, England, Egypt, Estonia, France, Greece & Greek Islands, Germany, Hungary, Jordan, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia (both pre and post breakup ), Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland , Syria, Tibet, Turkey, Yugoslavia ( pre breakup), Acalpulco, Hong Kong, and via the Trans Siberian Railroad, Mongolia and Siberia...

Traveler Since: 2004

November 14, 2010

Just returned last night from Turkey's Magical Hideaways with the Syrian pretrip exhausted from traveling for  42 hours. .  Great trip, but terrible airline connections.

Upon receipt  of my air itinerary, I called OAT because of the 1 hour allowed for transfer between Lufthansa and United Airlines in Frankfurt on my return flight from Istanbul.  I was assured than 1 hour is plenty of time and there would be no problem.

Of course there was a problem.  The departure  from Istanbul was delayed over an hour due to high winds, and as we later found out, Frankfurt had been having terrible rain storms for 48 hours.  When we arrived in Frankfurt, there was still 10 minutes before the departure of the United lfight, however United refused to delay their departure so our 5 OAT travelers plus 12 other Washington Dulles travelers were put up in a hotel overnight.  We had been assured by Lufthansa that there were plenty of seats available on the United  morning flight, however when we arrived at the airport the next AM, only 2 of the OAT  and 2 of the other travelrs got assigned seats - the rest went on standby, which of course created a lot of anxiety for them.  Eventually, after everyone with a seat assignment was boarded, most of the remaining 13 people on standby got on board, including the other 3 OAT travelers.

This whole hassle could have been avoided by allowing more time between connecting flights.  I don't understand why OAT can't route return flights via other gateway cities as long as they have connections to your home city.   We went out from Raleigh Durrham via WaShington Dulles to Vienna to Damascus, but could have come home via JFK or another airport with flights to RDU.... we didn't have to be routed back thorugh Washington Dulles. 

 

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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

November 14, 2010

Once I have my preliminary air itinerary and if I have any concerns, I get in touch with the airline directly rather than with GCT's travel department.  I also check my seat assignments with Seat Guru to make sure I have an aisle seat and not in an exit row or a bulkhead row.  The last because you might be switched with a family traveling with a baby.

In 2007, I was booked on the Russia Revealed trip and our original air itinerary was changed so that we flew British Air changing in Heathrow before Terminal 5 was opened.  We had barely two hours at Heathrow on the return flight if all went well, and I called BA to check if that was a legal transfer.  I was assured it was and that if for some reason we missed our flight to Boston (the last one that day), the airline would put us up overnight.  We had to cancel that tour because of illness, and I finally took it last August.  Again changing in Heathrow, but this was Terminal 5 and there was plenty of time for the connection.

To Liz109, I'm surprised that you were told an hour was a legal transfer.  Especially, at the Frankfurt airport where you might have to take a train from one terminal to another.  I missed a connection to Warsaw once because the train broke down.  And especially, when Frankfurt seems to have a lot of flight delays due to weather.

I'm going to Ireland in June, and my preliminary air itinerary has me flying from Boston to Dublin to Heathrow to Shannon for a trip starting in Galway.  I couldn't believe it, so I googled Aer Lingus and discovered that they do fly from Boston to Shannon, but not everyday and not the day I'm going.  Flights from Dublin to Shannon in June are not up yet, so that part may change.  In any case, there will be a 60 miles (approximately) bus ride from Shannon to Galway.  I expect to arrive very tired, but it will still be worth it.

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