Concerns over the financial condition of United Airlines have a lot of holiday travelers worrying about their plans these days. But travel agent Kay King says it’s a case much like U.S. Air went through earlier this year.She says U.S. Air filed for Chapter Eleven, and it went so smoothly, the traveling public didn’t see any difference in the level of service. The veteran travel agent says even bankruptcy doesn’t mean the nation’s second-largest air carrier will go out of business and disappear. Chapter 11 filing means they’ll do business as usual and “get their financial house in order.” King, a travel agent who works in West Des Moines, says of course an agent can find you many different ways to make a travel plan, giving not only flexibility but a backup in case your plans change or something happens to an airline in the middle of your trip. She encourages customers to pay with a credit card, not cash or a check, since the credit-card company acts as a buffer between you and service providers and may help you get refunds. If you find a flight you’re ready to board has been canceled, King says you may not need to stand in a long line hoping a gate or ticket agent will find you another flight.Get on that cellphone, she says, and while you’re in line ask your travel agent or the airline’s ticket office, to reschedule you — she says there’s a good chance it can be done so fast, by the time you get to the front of the line the agent will only have to print your new ticket. At Des Moines International Airport, spokesman Michael Audino agrees the current financial crunch for United Airlines may not be the crisis it appears. If there are problems with any single carrier, he points out the big airport is served by many airlines and both business and vacation travelers have plenty of other options to choose from.
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