Before you go anywhere, you can check out all the details from your personal computer. Thanks to the valuable services CompuServe offers, you can plan the perfect trip without having to pore over mounds of brochures from hotel chains and chambers of commerce.
Most of CompuServe’s travel-related services can be accessed from the main Travel screen (GO TRAVEL), shown in Fig. 13.1. Stop there first to see what’s available.
If you need data about wherever it is you’re going, the best place to look is in a CompuServe database. Table 13.1 highlights some of the more popular travel-related databases.
have found ABC Worldwide Hotel Guide and Adventures in Travel to be the most useful services for my needs. But then again, I’m not much of a golfer or a camper; if I were, I’d use those databases, too.
If you need information or action on passport or Visa applications, see the Visa Advisors and Electronic Visa guide (GO VISA).
If raw data isn’t enough, go for the face-to-face (or keyboard-to-keyboard) contact that’s available via CompuServe’s travel-related forums. Although many forums may prove fruitful, depending on your destination, you might need an extended list of the more popular forums among CompuServe travelers:
Air Canada Forum (GO AIRCANADA) Belgium Forum (GO BELFORUM) California Forum (GO CALFORUM) Canada Forum (GO CANADA)
Carribean Travel Forum (GO CARIBFORUM)
Colorado Forum (GO COLORADO) Deutschland Forum (TO GERLINE) European Forum (GO EURFORUM) Florida Forum (GO FLORIDA)
France Forum (GO FRFORUM) Hawaii Forum (GO HAWAII)
Hong Kong Forum (GO HONGKONG) Inns and Lodging Forum (GO LODGING) Israel Forum (GO ISRAEL)
Italian Forum (GO ITALFOR)
Japan Forum (GO JAPAN)
Latin America Forum (GO FORLATIN) Mexico Forum (GO MEXICO)
Mexico Travel & Culture Forum (GO MEXTRAVEL)
Native’s Guide to New York Forum (GO NYNY)
Netherlands Forum (GO NLFORUM) New York Newslink (GO NEWYORK)
Ohio Travel Forum (GO OHIO)
Outdoors Network (GO OUTDOORS)
Pacific Forum (GO PACFORUM)
Recreational Vehicle Forum (GO RVFORUM) Spanish Forum (GO SPFORUM)
Travel Software Support Forum (GO TSSFORUM) United States Travel Forum (GO USTRAVEL)
UK Forum (GO UKFORUM)
World Community Forum (GO WCOMMUNITY)
The granddaddy here, of course, is the Travel Forum (GO TRAVSIG). It’s the place to get advice from seasoned travelers of all sorts.
The World Community Forum (GO WCOMMUNITY) is also an interesting place to visit. As you can see in Fig. 13.2, this forum is available in several languages, but all the messages are synchronized so that visitors of various nationalities can read the same messages in their native tongues!
Booking your travel with reservations
Now that you know where you want to go, you’ll want to arrange the details of getting there. CompuServe offers four commercial services that you can use to make all your reservations, including those with airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. And all you have to do is tap a few keys on your keyboard (and pay the bills later!).
Of the four reservation services on CompuServe, three are run by airlines or airline consortia, and they are free of charge. The fourth, Official Airline Guides (OAG), is not run by an airline, and it charges you for its use. (Frankly, the free ones run by the airlines are easier to use and are more comprehensive than the OAG service, anyway!)
eaasySABRE (GO SABRE) is the travel reservation system of American Airlines. (Note the two A’s in EAAsy—for American Airlines.) Sabre lets you make airline, hotel, and car rental reservations around the world—and on all major airlines, not just American.
If you’re an eaasySABRE member, you can go right into the service. (Just select Access eaasySABRE CIM from the main menu.) If you’re not a member, you can either apply for membership (at no charge) or browse through the system. On your first visit, it’s a good idea to set up your Travel Profile (for frequent flyer numbers, rental car information, and so on). Then on subsequent visits, all you have to do is enter your membership number and password, and you can go ahead and make your reservations.
You don’t have to be an eaasySABRE member to browse through eaasySABRE. You do have to be a member, however, to make actual reservations. Note that there is no charge to establish an eaasySABRE membership.
To make airline reservations, choose Flights & Fares. When you see the screen shown in Fig. 13.3, you need to enter the information outlined in the following list.
Departure City or Code. If you don’t know the code for this city’s airport, just type the city name; eaasySABRE prompts you later with a list of possible airports.
|eaasySABRE, like all reservation systems, bases all reservations on airport codes; it does not use the actual name of the city.|
- Date of departure.
- Time of departure. Enter the earliest possible time you want to depart that day.
- Arrival City or Code. This is the airport at your destination.
- Number of Passengers.
- Airline Name or Code. This is optional; fill it out only if you have an airline preference.
If you want to set your flying preferences (such as the class of service), click the Preferences button. Otherwise, click the Flights button to see a list of available flights. To get more detail on a given flight, select the flight and click the Detail button. You can check out the prices by clicking the Fares button.
After you have selected your flight, highlight it and click the Select button. You’ll be presented with the Itinerary screen, for confirmation. From here, you can elect to see more details, to delete or confirm your reservation, or to arrange hotel reservations, car rentals, or additional flights. (Car rentals and hotel reservations work like flight reservations. After you fill in some basic information, eaasySABRE does the rest of the work for you.)
When you finish making all of your reservations, you’re returned to the itinerary screen. Check all the information for accuracy, and then click Confirm.
That’s it. Your trip is all set—and you didn’t have to leave your keyboard!
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