When’s the right time to book your next vacation? At the peak of travel-planning season, that’s a common question. This is the time of year when everything from holiday trips to spring-break cruises are being pulled together. But the best answer — besides a noncommittal “it depends” — usually is “as soon as possible.”
“I’m weary of those entitled passengers who are continuously whining and complaining,” says Lisa Thomas, a veteran flight attendant based in Denver. “I feel like telling them, ‘Take some responsibility for your choices.’ ”
Thomas’s comments, made to me after a recent column about the rise of fees in the travel industry, triggered a fascinating debate. Many travelers say that they think fees are out of control, particularly in the airline business. The top 10 airlines collected more than $28 billion in revenue from extra fees and services last year, up from about $2 billion a decade ago, according to a recent study by the consulting firm IdeaWorks.
At the same time, many in the industry say that they think people are getting exactly what they paid for: a quality product at a ridiculously low price. Industry employees like Thomas suggest that travelers have become spoiled.
Backpacks are back.
In a world of shrinking personal space, overstuffed overhead bins and exorbitant airline baggage fees, travelers are rediscovering the convenience and savings of wearing their luggage. For many, the “aha” moment came this summer as they watched a crowd of in-the-know travelers breeze through the terminal unencumbered by extendible handles and the bulk of things they didn’t really need.
When it comes to travel, Internet access has never been more ubiquitous — or more underwhelming.
Common sense tells you that if you complain too much, you could end up banished to the back of the plane or even blacklisted.
What can you do if you have a complaint against a travel company?
If the words “price transparency” don’t make your eyes glaze over, then you’re probably one of the hundreds of thousands of travelers who feel ripped off by a low price.
The aftermath of the Emirates Airlines Flight 521 crash in Dubai on Aug. 3 was one of this summer’s most shocking visuals.
Like many travelers looking for bargains, Alan and Julie Mitchell were looking for a cheap, convenient place to stay when they made a reservation for their trip. But they ended up with some very inconvenient accommodations that concluded with a credit card dispute.
What has Washington done for airline passengers lately?
Singer and dancer Tamar Braxton, 38, stunned fans when she left Dancing With The Stars last week. The reason? Blood clots, allegedly caused by frequent flights.
At the Players Cafe in Liberia, Costa Rica, Marc Anderson had to fork over a bundle when he bought breakfast at the airport. His order consisted of four coffees, two orange juices, one bottled water, one bagel, two English muffin sandwiches, and one Denver omelette.
Even the best travelers can have bad days.
Do you have the right to room on a plane?
If mentioning the word “overhead bin” doesn’t raise your blood pressure, maybe you haven’t flown recently.
Here’s a new phishing scam that could cost you a lot of money — $940, in my case.
David Harm is worried about his wife’s ticket to Omsk, Russia. When he made her reservation through Aeroflot’s Web site, his finger slipped — “I hit the ‘L’ key instead of the ‘K’ key” — and misspelled his wife’s last name (“Slirtenko” instead of “Skirtenko”).