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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS : Airlines' Lost-Luggage Rules Differ

December 02, 1990|ERIC FRIEDHEIM

Question: When an airline lost my baggage, it would not compensate me because I hadn't filed a claim within a week. Is this legal?

Answer: Each airline has a different statute of limitations. Some may give you three months, others demand notice of loss on the spot. Always keep copies of paperwork and names of those you contacted at the airport.

Q: We're planning a vacation with our trailer this winter. Will there be any gas limits for such vehicles?

A: Energy officials in Washington say no such controls are presently being contemplated.

Q: How late in the year are cruises run on the Baltic?

A: Cruise service usually discontinues in the winter, although ferries operate year-round.

Q: How do you get a job as a courier carrying documents to different countries?

A: Although this is largely a government function, some private companies do engage people to transport confidential material. Check local courier services for information.

Q: Are there air excursions that fly over the North Pole?

A: A check of current Alaska and Northern Canada tour offerings show no such flights. However, there's always the possibility that a local air service may undertake such flights. Check your travel agent for such information.

Q: With the big interest in Eastern Europe, will there be local cruises available along inland waterways?

A: Operators are looking for a large expansion in European river cruising, not only in Eastern Europe but on the more popular Rhine and Danube rivers. Check travel agents for 1991 schedules and itineraries.

Q: Someone has opened a travel agency in his home and is selling air and cruise tickets obtained from other agents at no increase in prices. Is this possible?

A: Anybody can open a travel shop, but airlines won't issue tickets or pay commissions to agents not accredited by the Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) or the International Airlines Travel Network. Accredited agencies sometimes will handle reservations and ticketing for such outsiders.

Q: We're planning a trip to Australia visiting Sydney, Melbourne, Ayers Rock and the Gold Coast. Are there air discounts available?

A: Both Australian Airlines and Ansett offer discounts and low-priced air passes for visitors to Australia with savings up to 40% over normal fares. Regional airline East/West also offers discounts. With deregulation of the airlines set for later this year, look for more special promotional fares.

Q: Must airlines notify passengers if there is a change in departure time of an international flight?

A: No, but most airlines try to notify passengers' travel agents if they change published schedules. However, it would be best for you to check with the airline a day or two prior to departure.

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