Resolved for 2008: Kill the TSA, end fuel surcharges and impose quotas on airline bloggers

Resolved for 2008:

• The Transportation Security Agency should eliminate its pointless liquids and gels ban, which recently led it to reclassify harmless holiday pies as weapons of mass destruction. If it can’t manage to do that, our elected officials should do us all a favor and kill the agency.

• Fuel surcharges must be stopped. They should be illegal. If nothing else, they are dishonest. Unless they are ended, we’ll soon be paying fees for everything from our travel company’s insurance to rent — all broken out as a surcharge. No price will ever be final. (Check out the car rental industry if you want an idea of where all this is headed.) It’s time for the government to step in and end the madness.

• Hotels with nonsense fees should be boarded up. We’ve seen a rash of these dumb add-ons in the last few weeks. Just yesterday, I received word from a reader that a number of Choice Hotels properties, particularly Comfort Inns, have begun adding a $1 per-night fee for having a phone in the room. That’s right, it doesn’t matter if you use the phone or not. It still costs you $1. Please!

• And while we’re at it, let’s limit the number of bloggers and self-styled airline “experts” churning out marginally useful news. I mean, how many travel bloggers does it take to breathlessly report on the demise of MAXjet, a carrier that only .000001 percent of the traveling population ever heard of, much less could afford a ticket on? (The answer? Apparently, all of them.) Come on, people! At the very least, Technorati should offer an affirmative action program for travel bloggers with a more mainstream message. Where are all the bloggers who cover car travel, for example?

Sigh.

How about you? What are your New Year’s resolutions?

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at . Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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