In 1997 I traveled around Turkey by land -- loved the country,
but on my next trip later this year would like to skip the
long-distance buses. What is the internal air network there like?
Is it expensive, and can you suggest a company that could help
Airlines, the government-supported airline, dominates the
skies, but there are smaller companies, too, including Istanbul
Airlines. Plan your itinerary well, because not all cities have
daily service, and on a weeklong visit you don't want to get
stuck having to wait a day or two just because of flight
schedules. You can see the cities served by Turkish Airlines
at its City
(The airline's site had another interesting feature: The company
is selling six A310-203 passenger aircraft and two Boeing
727-200F cargo planes. Get 'em while they last.)
The airfares are not expensive by U.S. standards; the
dollar-Turkish lira exchange rate
is very favorable to those who have dollars in their wallet. A
spokesman for the Turkish Tourist Office said most one-way
flights within the country are under $100. (You mentioned
traveling with your parents -- ask about senior discounts.)
Dozens of U.S. travel agencies and tour operators offer packages
to Turkey and could help plan your trip. Among those on a list
from the tourist office are:
Travel in Chicago, phone (312) 263-1991.
Tours in Aurora, Colo., phone (303) 766-2792 or (800) 576-1784.
Tours in New York City, phone (800) 722-4288.
in Seattle, phone (206) 368-8986 or (800) 572-0526.
Turkish Tourism Office is at 821 United Nations Plaza, New
York, NY 10017; phone (212) 687-2194.
Anyone considering getting behind the wheel in Turkey should take
note of a special U.S. State Department briefing about
driving hazards. It begins: "The cardinal rules of safety to
survive Turkish driving are: drive very defensively, avoid
driving at night and never let emotions affect what you do."
We're planning to get married and honeymoon in Fiji,
preferably a small, all-inclusive resort. What is the most
economical and reliable way to plan this type of trip?
Most resorts there offer wedding packages, but of course you'll
want to check them out thoroughly to make sure you're not
disappointed. Ask the resort for testimonials from couples who
have already visited.
The Visitors Bureau also offers a honeymoon guide with contact
information for operators and packages. Call the bureau at (800)
There's a Fiji section in "Romantic Wedding Destinations: Guide
to Wedding & Honeymoon Getaways Around the World," by Jackie
Carrington (Innovanna Publishing, 1997). The book provides
marriage license requirements, plus the names of wedding
consultants with their addresses and phone numbers. It can be
ordered by calling (800) 577-9810.
Finally, look at one or more of the guidebooks to Fiji aimed at
independent travelers. They may have information about the
islands that you won't find in package brochures. Among good
guides are "Fiji Islands Handbook," by David Stanley (Moon
Publications, 5th edition, 1999), and "Fiji," by Robyn Jones
(Lonely Planet, 4th edition, 1997).
I was bumped off an international flight by US Airways despite
arriving 42 minutes before takeoff. But I was forced to wait in
the check-in line for over half an hour. What recourse do I
I'd be mighty mad if I missed a flight under the circumstances
you describe, but I don't know if I'd be madder at myself or the
US Airways does have a 30-minute rule for international flights
-- but that means you have to be at the gate within that period,
not out front at the main baggage check-in counter. And that
means you don't really have any recourse.
Airlines sometimes have agents working the lines to deal with
passengers in danger of missing flights, but not always.
Passengers who find themselves in this position should attempt to
notify an airline agent ASAP, in the hopes that processing can be
Any way you cut it, arriving 42 minutes before an international
flight is asking for trouble. Even if the line out front isn't
exceedingly long, it takes a bit longer to check in because of
the passport check, and often passengers have more luggage on
such flights. Then you still have to go through security --
another line during busy periods -- and also a gate check. When
you're flying a jet that carries 300 or more people, there's
often a jam at the gate, too.
Most airlines recommend arriving two hours early for an
Here's US Airways's rule for boarding, from its Web
site: "To help ensure on-time performance, US Airways
requires that passengers present themselves at the boarding gate
at least 10 minutes (30 minutes international) before the
scheduled departure time of the flight even if you have already
checked in for the flight at a location designated for such
purpose. Failure to meet this requirement may result in
cancellation of your reservation and make you ineligible for
denied boarding compensation."
An easy way to find out rules -- as well as what rights you have
as a passenger -- is to consult "Terry Trippler's
Rules of the Air" at 1travel.com. The site offers
plain-English explanations on topics found in an airline's
contract of carriage, which accompanies each ticket purchase.