Help! My Bed Bath & Beyond order is missing in action

Ralph Campbell’s online order with Bed Bath and Beyond is missing in action. Why won’t anyone help him?

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And the award for worst airline CEO goes to …

uniUnited Airlines’ Glenn Tilton. He was the third-worst chief executive officer in a survey of American executives, according to a new employee poll by Glassdoor, a company that conducts online salary reviews.

Employees complained that United’s management treated them disrespectfully, were too bottom-line oriented and had run morale into the ground. Here’s a typical response:

United has the worst management of any airline. The treat their employees with disrespect and have little interest in changing their ways. Upper management have no idea how to manage employees, the airline’s assets or money.

You can read more employee comments here.

There’s something of a silver lining for Tilton. He came in second during the last survey at the end of last year. This time, two other CEOs out-underperformed him: Krishna Srinivasan of Frost & Sullivan and Steve Odland of Office Depot.

The top travel company on Glassdoor’s survey was also an airline: Continental Airlines and its chief executive, Larry Kellner.
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How do you get an airline to keep its promises?

plane landingLast summer, Jennifer Patronis’ father suffered a massive aneurysm and stroke. She immediately booked a round-trip ticket from Athens to Cleveland on Delta Air Lines to be with him. Three months later, he died, leaving her with an unexpected problem: How to get back to Greece, where she lived.

Despite a verbal promise that it would waive its ticket change fee, Delta wanted another $700 for her return flight. That’s over and above the $1,000 she spent on the roundtrip ticket.

Far be it from me to argue with an an airline when it comes to change fees and fare differentials. But a promise is a promise, right?
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Best Western’s Kong: “We do not shirk our responsibilities”

KongBest Western has spent more than $3 billion in the last three years to upgrade, renovate, convert or construct new hotels in North America. It also separated from hundreds of so-called “underperforming” hotels. I asked Best Western’s chief executive, David Kong, what these changes will mean to customers.

What was wrong with the old Best Western?

The old Best Western was right for its time, and while our brand promise hasn’t changed, every brand needs to evolve to stay fresh and relevant to customers. This has meant product enhancements but also exciting partnerships with AAA, Harley Davidson, Michael Waltrip Racing, and the World Vision child sponsorship organization. We have also made great strides in social media, with an award-winning blog at, active Twitter and Facebook followings, and robust mobile booking and trip-planning tools.
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Orbitz’ Harford: Quoting a total price is “a strategic priority for us”

Barney OrbitzBarney Harford is the president and chief executive officer of Orbitz Worldwide. One of the first things he did when he took over eight months ago was to institute a “total” price for hotel rooms, making it the first of the major online travel agencies to do so. He also launched a campaign to lift travel restrictions to Cuba imposed by the American government during the Cold War. I asked Harford why he decided to take on prices and politics so early in his tenure.

Your company is pushing the government to lift travel restrictions to Cuba with a new site called Open Cuba. Why is this issue important to you? Why should it be important to travelers?

We believe it’s important to be engaged in the social issues of the day. We promoted lesbian and gay travel as far back as 2002. We were on the cutting edge of eco-tourism.

The management team and I shared a belief that after 50 years of ban on travel to Cuba [by Americans] it was time for a change. It doesn’t make sense for Americans to not have a right to travel to a country that is so close. Travel can bring people together. We believe there’s an immense opportunity to bring people together, to create progress.

We have urged people to sign a petition to overturn the ban on travel to Cuba. We’ve had about 95,000 people sign it. There’s broad, grassroots support that’s been indicated on this issues. We hope to be able to play an important role in removing the ban.
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