On travel brochures, the small print makes a big difference

The National Trust Tours brochure for its upcoming Odyssey of Ancient Civilizations — a seven-night cruise through Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece — advertises an “all-inclusive” itinerary. And indeed, the $4,195 price for an ocean-view stateroom covers meals, tours and “enhanced” services, such as a flight insurance policy. Read more “On travel brochures, the small print makes a big difference”

A tourism insider changes his mind about Mexico

Mexico doesn’t need any more bad press. Between drug violence and natural disasters, it’s had enough, thanks very much.

All of which makes Dave Dudar’s story so difficult for him to tell — and for me to write.

Dudar has been a frequent visitor to Cancun since 1998. He’s also worked in the tourism industry as a former marketing official for Meet College Park Georgia, the convention and visitors bureau for the Georgia city that houses Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, as well as with Vail Resorts and United Airlines.

“This is the fourth time I have rented a car in this country in four years,” he told me.

It is probably the last.
Read more “A tourism insider changes his mind about Mexico”

How to avoid a traffic “shakedown”

John Wieroniey made a wrong turn while he was driving in Prague recently. He blamed his onboard navigation system, which had directed him to a pedestrian zone.
Read more “How to avoid a traffic “shakedown””

Federal government wraps up quiet year for traveler protections

Government fines against airlines for consumer rule violations are on track to hit a six-year low as the U.S. Department of Transportation’s enforcement actions shift from punishment to preventing infractions. With only a few weeks left in 2014, the DOT has issued 23 consent orders that assess $2.6 million in penalties — $4.5 million less than last year. That’s the same number as in 2009.
Read more “Federal government wraps up quiet year for traveler protections”

Who really benefits when airlines are penalized?

Although the U.S. Department of Transportation fined seven airlines a total of $1.7 million last year for violating its controversial tarmac-delay rule, most of it went straight to the U.S. Treasury. Why isn’t the money awarded to the passengers who sat on planes for hours before taking off?
Read more “Who really benefits when airlines are penalized?”