As the hours tick down to the New Year, it's time to take one last look back at the highlights—er, lowlights, shall I say—of travel industry news in 2008. Here are the year's top 10 most popular Today in Travel blog entries:
- NYC's Hotel Carter awarded dirtiest hotel: Who knew tales of bedbugs and filth could be so enthralling?
- Airline Fees: The Ultimate Guide: This was indeed the year of the airline fee. SmarterTravel editors have been adding new items to our airline fees chart on a constant basis this year.
- Will airlines charge by weight?: As airlines added new fees, the controversial idea of charging passengers by weight came up again and again.
- Southwest: First- and second-checked bags still free: In your eyes, one of the year's biggest stories is what didn't happen: Low-cost carrier Southwest refused to add extra fees while its competitors piled them on thick.
- US Airways to charge for all checked bags, beverages: US Airways may have been the airline to take airline fees the farthest, charging passengers for nearly every onboard service, even water.
- American to charge for all checked bags: American's move to charge for the first-checked bag caused some passengers to call for a boycott on flying the airline, but most of the other carriers added first-checked-bag fees of their own.
- New security screening based on expertise: A new TSA program designed to screen passengers in separate lines based on security screening expertise generated lots of discussion.
- Et tu, JetBlue? Low-cost carrier increases change fee to $100: Back in May, JetBlue's change fee increase seemed like a big deal, but it was only the beginning of a flurry of new and increased fees.
- United, American, Delta hike fares by another $60: In reaction to soaring fuel prices, the airlines raised their fares so many times, we could hardly keep count, but this $60 was particularly memorable because of its size.
- Delta buys Northwest, creating world's largest airline: By creating the world's biggest airline, Delta and Northwest changed the face of the American airline industry. Whether it will be for better or for worse is still uncertain.
What do you think was the most important travel news of 2008? Post your opinion below.