When it comes to airlines and cruise lines, there’s a consensus among experts that there’s almost no such thing as green — only shades of fake green. “There’s a lot of greenwashing,” say ecotourism experts. Both airlines and cruise lines pollute and dump to such an extent that some travelers find it difficult to justify a booking.
Disconnecting is passé, which is bad — and good. It’s bad in the sense that people really need a break. In fact, the right to disconnect is recognized by some forward-looking employers, including Mercedes-Benz. Earlier this year, France enacted a law that required companies with more than 50 workers to set hours when employees are not supposed to send or answer emails. But it’s good in the sense that a connection can be a powerful tool that can improve your vacation.
New artificial intelligence (AI) technologies promise to make travel a little smarter. The latest entrant is Aeromexico’s new AI-based customer-service bot, billed as a “smart brain” capable of machine learning. It launched earlier this year in Spanish on Facebook, and an English version is being rolled out now.
Hotel rates, cruise-ticket prices and tours quote rates based on double occupancy. Go alone and you’ll pay a single supplement that can double the cost of your vacation. Understandable? Sure, considering that most rooms accommodate two or more people. Unfair? Yes. But that’s slowly changing. The industry appears to be gradually ending its discrimination against the lone traveler. Why? Because more people are going it alone.
There’s no better place to learn about WWII history than a road trip to Alabama and Louisiana. It’s not just Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Ala., that will let you experience the war. Then, a short two-hour drive away in New Orleans, you’ll also find the finest museum of WWII history, The National World War II Memorial Museum. You wouldn’t expect to find two such opportunities so close together outside perhaps a major world capital, yet here they are.
Mandatory resort fees, tacked onto a hotel bill after an initial price quote — and sometimes even later, as with Myers — are on the rise again. A total of 1,026 domestic hotels charged a resort fee for the first half of 2017, a 14 percent increase from just six months ago, according to new research from Resortfeechecker.com, a site that allows travelers to look up resort fees at hotels worldwide. The average resort fee, which covers everything from “free” WiFi to access to exercise facilities, now stands at almost $21, a jump of 8.7 percent from last December.
More than eight out of 10 travelers are anxious about their safety, according to the latest Global Rescue Travel Safety Survey. But for every travel problem, there’s a solution. A range of new travel gadgets and apps, all targeted at security-conscious travelers, are sold to jittery tourists. Though they may address a few of your concerns, they fail to fix the one thing no one talks about. I’ll tell you what that is in a second.
Congress is trying to pass yet another Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, a rare opportunity to help airline passengers by enacting meaningful consumer protections. It’s fast-moving legislation that may be all but decided by the time you read this. But the drafts of both the House and Senate bills offer a flight plan for air travelers during the next six years.
The number of travel agents has shriveled from 124,000 in 2000 to 74,100 in 2014, according to the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. But that’s good news. Many of the mundane tasks travel agents used to do, such as writing airline tickets, have been automated by travel websites. Today’s travel professional is far likelier to have expertise, knowledge and deep connections that can ensure your trip is a smooth one.
The five most important rules for filing a travel insurance claim — read your policy, know your policy limits, file on time limits, keep receipts, use your computer to file. These steps will go a long way to getting your claim to glide through the system.