Airports are hubs for more than just flights. Complaints fly nearly constantly across check-in desks, customer-service counters, and gates at every airport in every city in the world. And, sure, with delayed flights and bad seats galore, there's plenty for passengers to rightfully complain about.
But with so many gripes, the best way to be heard when you have a problem is to rise above the din. Here are our tips for complaining the right way next time something goes wrong for you at the airport.
Center Yourself: Anger is likely fueling your complaint, but all that rage and indignation will work against you when it comes to negotiating a satisfactory outcome. Before you lodge your complaint, take a minute to breathe deeply and re-center. Once you feel calmer, you'll be able to order your thoughts, complain strategically, and recognize a reasonable outcome when it comes your way. ... read more»
Everyone knows that guns are a no-no in the cabin when flying commercial, right?
According to the Transportation Security Administration, for the year to date, through November 17, 1,931 flyers were snagged at airport security checkpoints with guns in their carry-on bags. That's more than the total intercepted for all of 2013, and the Thanksgiving and Christmas travel crunches are still ahead of us.
According to the TSA, some travelers are unaware of the no-firearms rule; but most of the miscreants claim they simply forgot that they'd included a weapon among their carry-on items. ... read more»
No long report this week—instead, let's look at some interesting developments that might affect your travels.
Will Jet Blue Trash Its Product?
Last week, the trade media obsessed over JetBlue's announcement that it will start charging at least some travelers for a checked bag and that it would cut the legroom for most travelers. Most media sources praised the move, pointing out how much revenue it will gain. What nobody stressed, however, is how much revenue JetBlue might lose by downgrading its product. JetBlue has prospered, at least in my view, by offering a superior product at a reasonable price. And the two most important differences from the "me, too" approach of most other airlines is the first no-charge checked bag and the extra legroom. To be sure, even after the planned shrinkage, JetBlue will still have the best legroom in the industry, at least by an inch or two. But, if, as Wall Street requests, JetBlue becomes more like Spirit, will it lose its appeal and lose out in the end? Hard to say. ... read more»
Don't be surprised if you feel you're in a tug-of-war, playing the part of the rope; you are. Primary sellers—airlines, hotel chains, cruise lines, and such—are pulling you one way, online agencies and information providers are pulling in the opposite direction. The basic struggle is to "own" you as a buyer of travel: Each side wants to be your go-to source of information and especially your go-to place to buy tickets and arrange travel services. What's at stake, of course, is big money—both to minimize the costs of paying someone else to do something you can do and also to maximize revenues by selling all of your travel, not just part of it. This is going to be a long, drawn-out struggle, and as the party in the middle you need to know how it will affect you. A few interesting skirmishes just arose. ... read more»
You may have heard the recent head-scratching news that rocked Venice's tourism scene last week. According to reports that shot around the Web on Friday, the city was (allegedly) set to impose fines on tourists who dared to roll through the streets with suitcases that feature hard plastic wheels.
According to news reports, this new law was intended to prevent sound pollution and damage to the city's historic cobblestones. Rolling offenders would face fines of €500!
Why, oh why would they do this? Doesn't the city rely upon tourists rolling forth from the train station, water taxis, and vaporetti? What are you supposed to do—carry your suitcase for long distances? It's a war on tourists!
But before you go online and cancel your big vacation plans for Venice, everybody just take a deep breath. It's not happening. No law was ever passed. And furthermore, the story seems to hang on a detail that was either lost in translation or simply overlooked. And then everyone's imagination sort of ran off with it.
But let's rewind … ... read more»
Etihad Airways, the flag carrier airline of the United Arab Emirates, is showing off its super-luxurious Residence suite at this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, hoping to catch the eye of the moneyed travelers, millionaire celebs, and royalty in attendance. ... read more»
Enter the LAN "Captivating Colombia" sweepstakes by December 1, 2014, for a chance to win the grand prize: a 14-day trip for two to Colombia, including air, hotels, meals, tours, and a Fuji camera.
To enter, provide the requested information (name, email, etc.) on the sweepstakes landing page and press "Submit." Done! Time required to participate: less than 30 seconds. ... read more»
Excuse me, Garcon, there's a cat in my coffee. ... read more»
Following is our regular summary of the latest travel news and best frequent traveler promotions reviewed during the past week.
If it was a good deal—or a notably bad deal—from an airline, hotel, or car rental loyalty program, you can read all about it here, and plan your travel accordingly.
Between November 20 and December 17, Choice Privileges members can earn double points for bookings made via the Choice Hotels mobile app.
Responding to JetBlue's plan to add fees and reduce legroom, Southwest promises to maintain its fee-free policies.
Wi-Fi access and digital content will be available for free in the sky and at airports nationwide on "Connection Day."
JetBlue today confirmed the worst fears of its loyalists, announcing plans to add checked-bag fees and reduce legroom in coach. ... read more»
In what has been dubbed "Connection Day," Verizon Wireless, JetBlue, GoGo, Amazon, Pandora, and several other companies have banded together to make WiFi access and digital content available for free on Wednesday, November 26. That's the day before Thanksgiving, and one of the three busiest travel days of the Thanksgiving holiday period.
In the content area, there will be free music downloads from Amazon, free magazine downloads from Conde Nast, and free access to Pandora's ad-free music-streaming service.
For holiday air travelers, the following freebies will be available ... read more»