Problem Solvers: How to plan a hassle-free trip as holidays approach

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DENVER -- Travel experts say now is the time to start booking holiday travel if you want the best deals.

Travel websites help you find flights fast, but an Englewood teacher says there's a warning you need  to heed before jumping online.

Chelsi Price saved and planned for months for her trip to several parts of South America last July.

While she was there, she decided to change one leg of her flight, which she booked through an online site.

Chelsi tells the Problem Solvers after speaking with a website employee it was her understanding that changes would be allowed, but later, much to her surprise, she learned the airline's policy didn't allow that to happen without  some serious consequences.

“I had gotten an email from the airline saying my flight to Denver was canceled. I said ‘well that's a problem because I need to get home’.”

Chelsi was charged a $300 "no show " fee for the leg of the flight she changed, then she had to buy another ticket just to get home.  Chelsi ended up on the same flight she had already paid for.

Ezra Coopersmith is an investigations coordinator with the Denver Better Business Bureau. He tells the Problem Solvers, the best way to avoid this kind of issue, regardless of who you book with, is to realize that the airline has the last word on what will happen if you change your reservation. “You are buying a ticket from the airline and you want to understand that the third party site is involved and they might have slightly different policies.”

Chelsi says she's been trying to get the problem resolved for months, but can't get any answers, so the Problem Solvers contacted the booking company's  headquarters in California. They quickly responded saying they are investigating her case.

FOX31 will provide an update on the story.  For more information about how to plan a hassle-free trip visit the BBB website here.

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