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.” “When is the best time to book your vacation?”
“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. “Got a complaint about the travel industry? It’s got one about you, too”
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. “Every traveler’s eternal question: ‘It’s 2017, why don’t we have Wi-Fi on all planes?’”
It happened to Traci Fox.
“Why are travelers punished for complaining?”
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.
“Why travelers need transparency now”
The aftermath of the Emirates Airlines Flight 521 crash in Dubai on Aug. 3 was one of this summer’s most shocking visuals.
“Improving travel, one good idea at a time”
Even the best travelers can have bad days.
Do you have the right to room on a plane?
If you answered “no,” you’re probably with the majority of American travelers. After all, airlines are private companies, and you always have the option of paying more for an upgraded seat, don’t you?
“Space wars are shifting to the human rights front”
If mentioning the word “overhead bin” doesn’t raise your blood pressure, maybe you haven’t flown recently.
But John Masters has. On a recent AirTran Airways flight, the Wichita, Kan., legal assistant noticed that the airline made every effort to persuade passengers to check their bags. Many refused.
One air traveler seated near him then laid claim to an overhead compartment that’s meant to store carry-ons for four passengers.
“Airline passengers go to war over bin space”