When a gridlocked Congress shuttered vast sections of the federal government on Oct. 1 and furloughed 800,000 workers, its decision touched tourists in unexpected ways, from abruptly canceling a camping trip in a national park to foiling a destination wedding. It drained visitors from popular attractions, causing hotel occupancy rates to plummet and hurting other travel-related businesses. Along the way, many travelers have discovered the important — and often underappreciated — part that the federal government plays in travel.
It’s been five short years since the airline industry, led by an ailing American Airlines, quietly stripped the ability to check your first bag at no extra cost from the price of an airline ticket — an act given the antiseptic name “unbundling.”
Privacy advocates and some consumers are uneasy about government trusted-traveler programs like this one. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be approved, and if you aren’t, you may never know why. And Pre-Check status is no guarantee that you can avoid a standard TSA screening, which includes a full-body scan or a so-called “enhanced” pat-down.
Teresa Ferris is mad. She didn’t get what she paid for from the airline. Is she stuck or can she get satisfaction with an appeal?
A new study by the Washington-based advocacy group National Consumers League (NCL) suggests that the travel insurance industry profits from customers like Tarrow by using misleading language to lure them into buying a policy, including making broad promises of traveling with “peace of mind,” but denying too many claims based on the fine print.
It was supposed to be the vacation of a lifetime for Pat and James Frost — a river cruise in France on the Viking Europe, from Avignon to Chalon-sur-Saône. The retired couple from Concord, Ohio, even added three days in Paris to round off their bucket-list getaway. But when they arrived at the port, a cruise line representative informed them of a change in plans. Flooding along the Rhône and Saône rivers had made the waterways impassable, and their cruise tour had turned into a bus tour.
When it comes to air travel, there’s a growing rift between informed and uninformed passengers. Common sense tells you it shouldn’t be a problem. But spend a little bit of time studying the rules, and you’d know it is. Ah, rules. They’re dense, cryptic, wrapped in legalese. But they do not apply to all customers.
Karen Freeman thought that she’d returned her Chrysler 200 Sedan to the Richmond airport with a full tank. She thought wrong.
Deadbeats. Gate lice. Entitleds. Pull back the curtain on the service industry and you can hear them talking about us — often in unflattering terms.
When Jennifer Forbes and her husband checked in for a recent flight from Richmond to Freeport, Bahamas, they discovered that there are worse ways to start a vacation than having an invalid ticket. Much worse. The airline on which they had reservations, Bahamasair, didn’t even serve Richmond. Now what?