Commentary

Should elites have to pay for TSA PreCheck?

When the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created, the designated control of the checkpoints ended up having profound consequences.

Today, some of those consequences are expiring. And frequent flier elites are beginning to grumble.
Continue reading…


After Germanwings, is budget air travel an endangered species?

Budget airlines have a reputation for pushing for the lowest pilot pay and the most arduous working conditions to keep a cap on costs.

Of course consumers want cheap airfare, and sometimes they do get what they pay for. For example, flights that used to have three qualified pilots — a captain, first officer, and flight engineer — went down to two.
Continue reading…


Terrorists target cruise ships — here’s what you need to know now

This week, I attended an annual trade show where tens of thousands of members of the cruise industry meet in Miami Beach to discuss trends in the world of cruising. The executives present a “state of the cruise industry” speech. The CEOs of Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), and MSC Cruises discussed building bigger ships and expanding into new markets such as Cuba and China.

The CEO of NCL remarked that “Libya, Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon could be more lucrative than Cuba.” The convention audience politely applauded and the other cruise executives smiled.

I couldn’t help tweeting “have you heard of ISIS?”
Continue reading…


Attention hotel guests! Sometimes, those star ratings lie

For David Pollard, the “aha” moment came after he booked a hotel room in Los Angeles through Hotwire.

Hotwire and its competitor, Priceline, offer what are called “opaque” rooms, which is to say you don’t find out the name or exact location of the property until after you’ve made a non-refundable reservation. Instead, you’re given the hotel’s anonymous star rating. And the hotel he’d booked, the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Airport, had four stars.
Continue reading…