Happier Summer Travel

Summer just started and already airline confusion is wreaking havoc on travel plans. iPhones or other high-tech devices can ease boredom, and Ray Hennessey Editor of SmartMoney.com, has some more tips for a happier summer.

If you do get stuck at the airport this summer, getting into an airline club can be a great way to alleviate your suffering and make your lay-over a little more comfortable. But you don't always have to be a member of these elite clubs to gain access.

First, check your wallet. You may be carrying a credit card or some other membership card that will allow you to enter. "Part of the rewards programs of a lot of these cards is use of certain airport lounges," says Hennessey.

If the rest of your wallet fails you, the money in it money won't. Look on eBay. There are people out there who sell day passes to airline clubs. "You can buy day passes for very very [little]," says Hennessey.

Another tip? Negotiate. Overbooked airlines are being bombarded by angry passengers this time of year. "Most [passengers] are demanding to get on that plane," says Hennessey. "They'd love it if you're saying, 'I demand to get in the lounge.'" Keep your cool, and instead of asking to be rebooked immediately, request access to the airline's lounge.

And if all else fails, pull out your iPhone. Don't have one yet? You might be better off waiting until the hype has died down a bit. If you must have one, however, and your current cell phone contract isn't up yet, Hennessey suggests visiting websites like www.CellSwapper.com to swap contracts with someone else.

Or, you could just wait it out. "I think what you're going to see is other handsets competing with the iPhone," says Hennessey. "If you really like your carrier, I would guess that over the next couple of months and years, you're going to see some really nifty handsets."

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By Erin Petrun