As anyone who’s ever found themselves standing around a police station in Spain at 3 a.m. calling mom back in the U.S. for their own hotel info can attest, it can be really tough when you’re lost in a foreign country or city without an Internet-connected device. Google wants to make those kinds of experiences easier and help travelers coordinate their activities with a new travel planning app called “Google Trips.” [More]
Three weeks ago, Southwest Airlines was hit by a massive, days-long outage, disrupting 2,000 flights and spoiling travel plans for countless passengers. CEO Gary “I’m Not Going Anywhere” Kelly later described the debacle as a “once-in-a-thousand-year flood,” and now we have some idea of just how much that flood will cost the airline. [More]
Allowing riders to book trips in advance essentially defeats the purpose of an on-demand ride-hailing app. But it’s a concept that Lyft is now ready to provide customers. [More]
Carnival Cruise Line’s Adonia ship will depart the Port of Miami as planned on May 1 with Cuban-Americans on board after the company reached an agreement with the government of the island nation. [More]
After reading the above headline, you’re probably already saying to yourself, “Yessss I know exactly what that feeling is!” The “return trip effect” is one we’ve all likely experienced — it seems to take a long time to get somewhere — whether it’s vacation, a visit to relatives or a business destination — and a much quicker time to arrive back home again, even though you traveled the same distance. Scientists are on the case to try and explain why we all feel this way.
If you’ve ever taken a trip with a group or family on Megabus, then you know it can be a pain to get seats together unless you show up extra early. Now, the company plans to change that by allowing customers to reserve seats in advance — for a price, that is. [More]
Travel guru Christopher Elliott thinks that airfare prices could drop significantly this fall, thanks to a double-dip recession and general economic misery. So far prices for car rentals and cruise packages are going up, but Elliott says he’s hearing from travelers and travel companies about “dramatic, unexpected bargains” and “rates … on par with last year’s record-low prices” when it comes to flights.
Timothy rented a car from Enterprise last month when he flew into Newark Airport in New Jersey, and he was forced to pay almost twice the amount quoted in his reservation because of problems with a coupon code and an uncooperative manager. But there’s good news: the rental came with a special, stinky surprise that he and his wife didn’t find until the second day of the rental. (Warning: there’s a big close-up photo below.)
John Tedesco of the San Antonio Express-News was badgered last week by a telemarketer who wouldn’t take no for an answer. He decided to keep her talking for a while to see how many ways she’d try to get him to hand over his credit card number for a “free” cruise. Here were all the tricks she used during her sales pitch.
Greyhound left an 88-year-old woman, along with around 30 other passengers, standing outside a locked bus station on Thanksgiving Day on a trip from Chicago to Detroit. Roxanne, who was one of the abandoned passengers on the sidewalk that morning, says that was just the final insult after an entire day of failure on Greyhound’s part. She sent a complaint to Greyhound’s executives on December 5th, but it was returned. Here is her summary of what happened.
Yesterday, a gorilla* stormed through the offices of Samsonite Corp, the “world’s top luggage maker,” and jumped up and down on their financial status. Their retail unit filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will close approximately half of their 173 stores.
[Note: Sandals has already responded to the post, expressed sympathy, and reached out to Autumn. We’ve removed their name from the headline to more accurately focus the blame on Delta, which is the company really behind the problems.] We get that Delta employees just flat out hate their jobs at this point—that would explain the surly flight attendants on my last Delta flight, at any rate—but why would you take that out on newlyweds, who have their whole lives to be disappointed and deserve that one week of happiness at the start? The least you could do, angry Delta employees, is try to help out after your employer utterly fails to deliver the passengers anywhere near their destination. No, a dingy one-night stay in a hotel room in NYC is not the same as a week in Antigua.
Austin bought two tickets to Aruba last December. By the end of February, Orbitz had changed his itinerary so many times that now they were only flying him as far as Atlanta, and 11 days later were flying him back from Aruba—it was apparently up to him to get from Atlanta to Aruba in the first place. At this point, the only option was to request a refund, which Orbitz said would take 60 days. Two months later, Orbitz told Austin that they’ll give him his money back in 60 days. We’re pretty sure that’s 120 days total, and there’s still no guarantee Austin will see his money.
You won’t get the best deal booking your hotel room through third-party sites like Expedia or Travelocity, according to an anonymous hospitality industry insider. Inside, four excellent reasons to book directly with a hotel to guarantee the best rooms at the best prices.
The AP is reporting that AIG executives aren’t done partying yet — they took an $86,000 hunting trip even as the company was requesting an additional $37.8 billion loan from the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo has said that as long as the company continues to be propped up by the taxpayer — he has the power under state business law to review and possibly rescind any inappropriate AIG spending.
Megabus Might Honor Your Prepaid Reservation, But Only If You Chase The Bus Halfway Across Philadelphia
A Megabus driver claimed that Chris’ prepaid reservation was actually a standby ticket, and refused to let him board unless he met the bus at the next stop halfway across Philadelphia. The driver was apparently worried that the bus would be full after the second stop, but he wouldn’t let Chris ride along to find out.
Leslie and her husband haven’t been able to cruise with Carnival since Hurricane Katrina rained all over their original itinerary back in 2005. Carnival promised they would be able to cruise on a “space available” basis, except Carnival won’t confirm if space is available until three days before departure, making it nearly impossible for Leslie and her husband to buy affordable plane tickets or arrange care for their sixteen-month-old daughter.
Travel expert Christopher Elliott says US Airways refunded a couple $2200 on a pair of nonrefundable tickets to Ireland after the wife wrote to the COO and explained their situation. They tried Expedia first and were refused, and although they had travel insurance it wouldn’t cover unemployment. The wife, Jennifer Bush, says the US Airways rep who responded to their plea “told me that they all felt for my situation and decided to refund the amount of the airfare.”