Travel Booking Problems
You just never know if you're going to run into booking problems when you're traveling... it's just one more reason that you need to be flexible when you travel. The best thing to do is stay calm.
The airline/hotel/tour operator isn't out to get you. Listen to the alternatives that are being offered.... You just might find that things work out for the better.
Most of the booking problems you run into will be "overbooking". You probably hear all the time about airlines overbooking. In the U.S., airlines usually ask for volunteers who can travel later in exchange for vouchers for additional future flights in compensation. Countries in the E.U. also have strict rules on how bumped passengers must be compensated.
If you run into booking problems in other countries, you really need to be prepared to be flexible so you can work things out. Our little group of four was to meet a larger group, but we got bumped on a flight from Nepal to Tibet because a Chinese government delegation took our seats. It doesn't pay to get angry at anyone at this point... your tour operator and the airline aren't really to blame. We were understanding and flexible... we got on the next flight... two days later! Our Tibet tour ended up being a private tour, and because of that we got into more places and saw everything anyway.
It isn't only with airlines that you might run into overbooking problems. Hotels also overbook their rooms sometimes. They should take care of you, so if this happens, just stay calm and work with them. My sister was taking friends to Italy. In Venice, they were going to a hotel she had stayed in before. When they got there to check in, the hotel was full.... but the hotel had a sister property that was newer and nicer around the corner... and that's where they got better rooms for no extra charge.
Here's a twist on booking problems with accommodations. We were on safari years ago. My husband and I were traveling with a long time travel buddy. We flew in to a remote tented camp. When we arrived, there seemed to be a problem. Somewhere in the communications things had gone wrong, and they were expecting only two of us. There was not an extra tent, so the first night, they moved an extra bed into our tent... and we had a slumber party. There are great stories to tell... and the very next night, they had that extra tent available. They also treated us to some great long game drives because we were so flexible.
And here's a booking error that worked in our favor. Again in Africa, and on that very same trip, we were booked into a tented camp that was supposed to be closed.... it had just shut down for the season. They managed to round up a substitute game guide and kitchen staff, and they took really good care of us... and we were the only ones in camp. Talk about exclusive... and all because we are willing to be flexible.
Trains can be overbooked too. In India we were supposed to take the train to a tiger preserve. At the last minute, they told us it was overbooked. They offered to send us with a car and driver instead. We actually got in before the train, and saw more and learned.
What we're trying to tell you, is if you run into booking problems, don't get angry or frustrated. Be willing to work through those problems... sometimes you'll end up with a better trip than you planned.