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Travel Gains of 2010

2010 was the year we all complained about crowded seats, lack of baggage space, and extra fees, fees, fees! In the early part of the year, the ash cloud from a volcano in Iceland wreaked havoc on air travel and we’re now ending the year with a big old East Coast blizzard doing the same. But we did see some travel gains this year. Most notably when it comes to the tarmac rule, passed by the Department of Transportation. Planes can no longer sit on the tarmac for more than three hours at a stretch without the airlines shouldering a hefty fine, and this has drastically cut down on the numbers of planes engaged in this practice (despite the fact that the airlines screamed this couldn’t be done).

Passengers like actor/director Kevin Smith brought awareness to the plight of overweight travelers and caused some airlines to institute a two-seat rule for those who can’t fit into one without being able to lower the armrest. Later in the year, flight attendant Steven Slater swilled a beer down the emergency chute and into American folk-hero-ship for highlighting the general state of passenger rudeness in the skies. Hopefully, he caused some to reconsider their churlish behavior toward those on the plane whose job it is to keep us safe.

America’s national parks, including Yellowstone, were busier than ever, signaling the return to the magical simplicity of the great outdoors and the importance of spending time with family. And, perhaps best of all, is that more people were able to travel for the holidays this year than they did in 2009. Let’s hope it continues into 2011! What travel gains do you hope to see happen in the New Year?

rachel_berg

My name: Rachel Berg.

Favorite way to get around: By Venetian gondola during starlit high tide, gliding past decaying and slightly spooky palaces, with perhaps a bottle of prosecco placed between the gondola seat cushions.

View that took my breath away: Unable to sleep in the mystical city of Sfat in Israel, I wandered outdoors predawn and was treated to a purple-on-purple sunrise below the mountaintop that seemed to emerge feet-first through ground-level clouds.

Greatest travel lesson learned: Sunny weather isn't everything. Some of my best travel memories involve go-karting through a deluge turned mud-fest in Mexico, drinking tea in the cold Denali tundra, and watching electric thunderstorms roll through national parks out West.

Most challenging travel moment: Getting leveled by altitude sickness in Cuzco and realizing that my body was forcing me to slow down and rest despite the fact that there was so much to do and see.

Travel ambition: To see the northern lights.

Comments

P. Wolff
Reply

Here is a gain you forgot to mention:

The airlines are about to close out their most profitable year in a decade- thanks to slashing routes and monstrous fees not reflected in ticket prices. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t begrudge them their profits if their general attitude wasn’t defined by uncaring, take-it or leave-it rudeness.

The journey used to be part of the adventure… now if air travel is part of one’s itinerary-it’s just something to get through..

Sennheiser Headphones
Reply

I don’t know what is wrong with these airlines, when they should be paying attention to people, that’s when turn their backs on them.

wool blankets
Reply

It is sad that they don’t consider their passengers. My daughter was stranded last week in the UK during the heavy snows. The airline refused to put them in a hotel because they didn’t have any travel insurance, and their terms and condition states that passengers are responsible for their accommodation in the event of heavy weathers.

Too bad.

Baadia Daaood
Reply

Travelocity have given me the most horrifying travel experience of my life. After searching the Travelocity website for travel from SFO to LAX and finding a great price I called December 26, 2010 to book travel and get more information for my 11 year old grand daughter an unaccompanied minor.

The agent informed me that the agency could not book flights for unaccompanied minors and told me the airlines would need to be contacted directly. He offered to contact them for me and placed me on hold. He completed my reservation and I was charged.

3 days later I went into my personal email in order to give her parents the itinerary and to my surprise my name was listed as the traveling passenger! My grand daughter’s information was not in the record at all. I called to report this to Travelocity and after speaking with 4 supervisors I was told there was nothing I could do at that point.

I was informed that I should have confirmed the reservation within 24 hours in order to make any changes. I have been making travel arrangements for myself and my family for over 15 years and have not witnessed this lack of skill or integrity. When making the original reservation I was very explicit with the agent yet they do not have any of my grand daughter’s information in their system (so they say). How is this possible?

I will never use this service again. Not only do they operate using technical support staff that have very heavy non-English accents which create some loss in effective communication, they will also cover their mistakes with deceit. Lastly, I had to purchase an additional ticket for my grand daughter. I am in the process of finding a remedy for the money I have lost due to incompetency on behalf of Travelocity.

Joel Frey
Reply

Hi Baadia. Thanks for your comment. Will you please email with your Trip ID number? I’ll then be happy to connect with you a member of our senior customer care team who can take a closer look at your case. I’m really sorry for the difficulties you’ve encountered. Joel Frey, Public Relations, Travelocity

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