How to squeeze a ‘yes’ out of your travel company

This isn’t a political column, but when I heard the next president of the United States, Sarah Palin, announce she belongs to the party of “no” — actually, make that the party of “hell no” — I thought for a moment she was talking about the travel industry.

I’m just kidding about the president thing. But not the “no” part.

Travel companies love telling their customers they can’t help them. Want an upgrade? No. A different room? Sorry. A few more days to use a ticket credit? Forget it. An extra hour on your rental car? Nope.

The travel business hasn’t been about “yes we can” since the airlines were recklessly deregulated in the 1970s. But unbelievably, the industry has taken an even harder line in the last year or so, saying we can take it or leave it at a time when they need us more than ever. Go figure.
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