Fed-up consumers seek reckoning with travel industry

Ask any frequent traveler if the travel industry is fair. You’ll likely hear a litany of complaints: Travel companies routinely charge you for services they don’t have to deliver, punish you with onerous restrictions and flout the time-honored rules of American business. And now, travelers are pushing back. Read more “Fed-up consumers seek reckoning with travel industry”

Rudeness runs rampant for travelers. Is it your fault?

It was a random thought at the end of a recent column about unfriendly TSA agents. “I wonder if the rude agent is a reflection of an even ruder traveler,” mused David Kazarian, a pharmacist from Tampa.

It started a debate with a real purpose. Read more “Rudeness runs rampant for travelers. Is it your fault?”

Got a complaint about the travel industry? It’s got one about you, too

“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. Read more “Got a complaint about the travel industry? It’s got one about you, too”

Will a new bill hold the travel industry accountable?

Imagine a world where your cruise line or airline pays you if it fails to keep its schedule, you aren’t penalized for a canceled reservation if your hotel is able to resell the room and ticket change fees are related to the actual cost of changing your flight schedule.

Impossible, right? Read more “Will a new bill hold the travel industry accountable?”

Travel blacklists: Turning tables on the industry

Maybe you’ve heard about Jason Puerner, or someone like him.

Puerner, a transportation planner from Lakewood, Colo., says he recently rented a Chevrolet Cruze with a pre-existing scratch from Enterprise. After returning the vehicle, he refused to cough up $412 for repairs and ended up on the company’s infamous “Do Not Rent” list. Read more “Travel blacklists: Turning tables on the industry”