The government is on track to issue the lowest number of airline fines in history this year. Federal regulators insist they’re just doing their job and that the numbers represent an ebb in airline violations. But consumer advocates say it’s nothing short of a dereliction of duty.
The Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Transportation Department (DOT), which enforces federal consumer protection regulations, has issued seven aviation enforcement orders totaling $2.2 million in civil penalties in 2019. The previous low for enforcement actions, set in 2000, was nine.
The DOT set a decade low for the dollar amount of fines last year, when it issued 16 enforcement orders totaling just $1.8 million in fines.
Read more “Airline fines have fallen to historic lows. Here’s what that means.”
When Lynn Culver stays at a hotel, she helps herself to the soaps and shampoos in her room. If housekeeping replaces the items, she takes the new ones, too. Culver, a retired attorney from Lumberton, N.J., thinks you can steal from your hotel.
Read more “Here’s what you’re allowed to steal from your hotel”
Whether you’re feeling flight-shamed, hotel-shamed or just plain shamed for being a traveler, chances are you’re probably wondering how to reduce your carbon footprint when you travel. Even with so many travel companies claiming to be green, it’s not easy.
“The short answer is yes, it is possible to reduce your carbon footprint when you travel,” says Jennifer Coffman, the associate executive director at James Madison University’s Center for Global Engagement. “The longer answer is yes with lots of qualifiers. Travel means greenhouse gas emissions.”
Read more “How you can really reduce your carbon footprint when you travel”
Beware the high cost of a travel deal error.
“It is not just about the dollars saved,” says Michal Strahilevitz, an associate professor of marketing at St. Mary’s College of California. “It’s the thrill of the deal.”
A bargain’s siren song can lure even the most clearheaded traveler, warns Strahilevitz, who studies consumer psychology. Throw in a few points and miles, and people just lose it.
Read more “Bargain blunders: Avoid a costly travel deal error!”
Retha Charette remembers the most annoying flier. On a recent flight from Newark to Amsterdam, her seatmate opened her tray table, placed her infant on it and began to change the baby’s diaper.
“It’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen on a plane,” Charette says. “I didn’t know what to do.”
It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have a story like hers to tell. Charette, who writes a blog called Roaming Nanny, says she tries to keep her cool when she encounters an annoying flier.
Read more “Stuck next to an annoying flier? Here’s what you can do about it.”