General

What documentation do I need at the airport?

When checking in online or at the ticketing counter it is a good idea to have your airline confirmation code, sometimes referred to as a record locator. You will find this 6 digit code on your e-mail confirmation from Cook Travel. If you do not have this information handy when you check in at the ticketing counter at the airport, do not worry. It is usually not necessary with airline personnel. However, you will definitely need it if you plan to check in early online. This is available up to 24 hours in advance of your flight for domestic flights. Online check in is not available for international flights at this time. In addition, be sure to have your required government issued photo ID available to show TSA screeners or airline personnel.

What are all these new airline fees I'm hearing about?

Airline fees are here to stay. When comparing fares, you should take in to account the additional fees for checked luggage, carry-on items and overweight baggage. Also, the airline may charge for in-flight food and beverage service, and other traveler amenities such as pillows and blankets. Check airline websites for the latest information.

What time should I arrive at the airport?

Plan to arrive at the airport 2 hours in advance for international flights or 1.5 hours in advance for domestic flights. Take in to account the time of day, day of the week, holidays and weather in to account when making your plans, and adjust accordingly.

How do I check flight status?

If you would like updated flight status information, please call Cook Travel, or refer to the airline website. You can also find updated flight information if you booked through Cook Travel at www.tripcase.com

Do I need a visa or passport for my international flight?

All foreign countries now require a passport or equivalent government documentation for U.S. citizens to enter. While some countries do not require a visa to enter, many others do. To know exactly what the visa requirements may be, call Cook Travel or refer to the state department at www.state.gov/travel. Many countries require a minimum of 6 months validity to allow entry.

Does Cook Travel provide leisure travel services?

Cook Travel specializes in corporate travel only.

Does Cook Travel provide visa & passport services?

Cook Travel provides visa & passport services through a 3rd party provider. Consider us a resource for all your visa & passport requirements. As forms and requirements change often, you will always have the most up to date information when you rely on us for your visa.

International Air Travel

What are all these new airline fees I'm hearing about?

Airline fees are here to stay. When comparing fares, you should take in to account the additional fees for checked luggage, carry-on items and overweight baggage. Also, the airline may charge for in-flight food and beverage service, and other traveler amenities such as pillows and blankets. Check airline websites for the latest information.

What time should I arrive at the airport?

Plan to arrive at the airport 2 hours in advance for international flights or 1.5 hours in advance for domestic flights. Take in to account the time of day, day of the week, holidays and weather in to account when making your plans, and adjust accordingly.

How do I check flight status?

If you would like updated flight status information, please call Cook Travel, or refer to the airline website. You can also find updated flight information if you booked through Cook Travel at www.tripcase.com

How can I tell what vaccinations I need?

Vaccinations probably will not be necessary for most international destinations. But to be sure of the suggested or required vaccinations, visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.aspx

Do I need a visa or passport for my international flight?

All foreign countries now require a passport or equivalent government documentation for U.S. citizens to enter. While some countries do not require a visa to enter, many others do. To know exactly what the visa requirements may be, call Cook Travel or refer to the state department at www.state.gov/travel.

Does Cook Travel provide visa & passport services?

Cook Travel provides visa & passport services through a 3rd party provider. Consider us a resource for all your visa & passport requirements. As forms and requirements change often, you will always have the most up to date information when you rely on us for your visa.

Why do airfares change so much?

Airfares fluctuate daily, often multiple times in a single day. Airlines change fares so often in an effort to generate the maximum revenue possible from each flight. This results in a balancing act of lowering fares to ensure that a flight is full and raising fares to be sure the flight is profitable. Coach class can have dozens of fares on a single flight. This is why we cannot guarantee a fare until it is actually ticketed.

Why do I have to pay extra for my seat selection?

Some airlines will not assign a seat unless a premium seat selection fee is paid in advance. This happens often with intra-European carriers, but not often with domestic carriers here in the U.S.

Why can't I sit in the first rows of coach class?

The first rows of coach class are usually reserved for travelers with airline status. Sometimes the forward seats are considered premium economy seats, and have higher fares associated with them. Cook Travel will do all we can to secure you a seat as far forward as possible given your airline status level.

Why do I have a middle seat/no seat?

We will do our best to get a favorable seat assigned for you at the time we issue your ticket. However, if your flight is already full, there may not be many choices. If you are assigned to a middle seat, Cook Travel will do all we can to move you to a better seat by calling the airline directly and having a seat unblocked for you. Sometimes, an airline will not assign you a seat at all if you are taking a flight at the last minute. When this happens, you will be assigned a seat at the gate. Please keep in mind it is better to have a seat assignment even if a middle seat as you can get bumped from the flight without one.

Domestic Air Travel

What documentation do I need at the airport?

When checking in online or at the ticketing counter it is a good idea to have your airline confirmation code, sometimes referred to as a record locator. You will find this 6 digit code on your e-mail confirmation from Cook Travel. If you do not have this information handy when you check in at the ticketing counter at the airport, do not worry. It is usually not necessary with airline personnel. However, you will definitely need it if you plan to check in early online. This is available up to 24 hours in advance of your flight for domestic flights. Online check in is not available for international flights at this time. In addition, be sure to have your required government issued photo ID available to show TSA screeners or airline personnel.

What are all these new airline fees I'm hearing about?

Airline fees are here to stay. When comparing fares, you should take in to account the additional fees for checked luggage, carry-on items and overweight baggage. Also, the airline may charge for in-flight food and beverage service, and other traveler amenities such as pillows and blankets. Check airline websites for the latest information.

What time should I arrive at the airport?

Plan to arrive at the airport 2 hours in advance for international flights or 1.5 hours in advance for domestic flights. Take in to account the time of day, day of the week, holidays and weather in to account when making your plans, and adjust accordingly.

How do I check flight status?

If you would like updated flight status information, please call Cook Travel, or refer to the airline website. You can also find updated flight information if you booked through Cook Travel at www.tripcase.com

Can I go standby on my flight when my meeting ends early?

Many airlines allow travelers to fly on standby instead of exchanging the return flight ticket. There can be an additional fee to do so but it can add flexibility to your travel plans. Call Cook Travel when you when you would like to catch an earlier flight and we can check availability and suggest the easiest and most cost effective way to accommodate your changing schedule.

Why do airfares change so much?

Airfares fluctuate daily, often multiple times in a single day. Airlines change fares so often in an effort to generate the maximum revenue possible from each flight. This results in a balancing act of lowering fares to ensure that a flight is full and raising fares to be sure the flight is profitable. Coach class can have dozens of fares on a single flight. This is why we cannot guarantee a fare until it is actually ticketed.

Why can't I sit in the first rows of coach class?

The first rows of coach class are usually reserved for travelers with airline status. Sometimes the forward seats are considered premium economy seats, and have higher fares associated with them. Cook Travel will do all we can to secure you a seat as far forward as possible given your airline status level.

Why do I have a middle seat/no seat?

We will do our best to get a favorable seat assigned for you at the time we issue your ticket. However, if your flight is already full, there may not be many choices. If you are assigned to a middle seat, Cook Travel will do all we can to move you to a better seat by calling the airline directly and having a seat unblocked for you. Sometimes, an airline will not assign you a seat at all if you are taking a flight at the last minute. When this happens, you will be assigned a seat at the gate.

Loyalty Programs

How do I get mileage credit for a trip I have already completed?

If you did not get credit for a trip you have already flown, the airlines make it pretty easy to get credit. Simply go to the airline website and request mileage credit. Some airlines may ask for boarding passes to prove you actually took the flight, but this is not usually the case anymore.

Car Rentals

Why is my rental car so much more expensive than I had been quoted?

Airport rental locations especially can be subject to higher fees and taxes. Each location varies depending upon local tax rates, municipal laws and additional levies. City locations are often cheaper overall and taxed at a lower rate. Airport locations are of course more convenient, but you will have to pay for the pleasure of easier rental procedures. Verification of rate terms and conditions should be done prior to signing any rental agreement.

Why is my rental car not the type that I originally ordered?

Rental agencies can take reservations for the car of your choice in anticipation of having it on the lot when you arrive. However, the previous renter may keep the car beyond the scheduled return date, so your preferred car may not in fact be available. The rental car agency will do all it can to accommodate your needs in a similar car.

Hotels

Why can I get a better hotel rate when I walk up and talk to the desk clerk?

Cook Travel can secure discounted rates at thousands of hotels around the world. However, depending upon the occupancy rate of any particular hotel, you may be able to ask the clerk at the reception desk for a better rate. Hotels would rather you stay with them than walk next door to a competing hotel.

Airport Security

Can I bring my own water bottle on the plane?

Water in quantities greater than 3.4 oz. is prohibited. However, you can purchase water inside the terminal and bring that on to the plane.

What can I take through the security checkpoint at the airport?

The TSA requirements make carrying personal items onto a plane more restrictive. Travelers can bring a one quart ziplock bag filled with liquid or gel containers of up to 3.4 oz. each. Medications, baby formula and food are allowed in greater quantities. Be prepared to declare these when entering the security line. There is more detailed information about permitted and prohibited items on the TSA website. You can find updated information at www.tsa.gov

Luggage

The airline lost my luggage. What do I do?

If the airline ticket was purchased on the travelers American Express card, then American Express will reimburse for lost luggage as follows:

The employee needs to get a claim number from the airline first–then contact Amex 800.645.9700 with the claim(s) number. The amount they will reimburse is up to 500.00 for a checked bag–and 1250.00 for a carry on. Again–the luggage must not have been found.

Cook will reimburse up to 100.00 for replacement of items needed to conduct Cook business. Any replacement articles purchased must be added to an expense report noting they were purchased due to lost luggage–and detailed receipts are required.

What about luggage fees?

Most airlines now charge additional fees for checked baggage. Each airline charges differently depending upon the number of bags you have and the size and weight of each. They also take in to account the airline status level of the traveler. To find out the latest information on checked baggage fees, call us at Cook Travel or refer to the airline website.

Online Travel Booking

Can't I find cheaper fares online?

That used to be the case, but is generally not the case today. Airlines have been allowing travel agencies access to the lowest of the low fares for some time now. Most of the time when you find a lower fare online it is due to the fact you are making an apples to oranges comparison. Times, airlines or routing may be different. If you can let Cook Travel know exactly what you are seeing online, we can secure the same or a lower fare in nearly every instance.

Why did I find a lower fare online?

Some airlines offer “internet only” fares but this is not generally the case. For all major airlines, Cook Travel has access to any and all of the lowest fares offered, including internet fares. In almost all instances, any disparity between Cook Travel’s fares and fares found online are cases of an apples to oranges comparison. Times may be different or routings may vary. It is very rare that the same flights at the same times will result in a lower fare online. Also, remember that some websites will not add in all applicable taxes and fees on the results page. Sometimes, after securing a low fare online, it will not be available when you proceed to actually try to ticket the fare.