In some ways, travel has improved as a result of covid-19. But in other ways, it hasn’t. Either way, the travel industry’s pandemic upgrades and downgrades might surprise you when you travel this fall.
Theme parks, car rental companies and hotels have improved their products during the travel slowdown: Lines are shorter, handoffs are contact-free, and facilities have been upgraded. At the same time, airlines have quietly made changes no one wanted.
Read more “Travel has improved after coronavirus — and it also hasn’t. Here’s how.”
If you got a parking ticket on vacation like Maria Barlow, you probably feel powerless — and angry.
She had left her rental car in a touristy neighborhood near Arizona State University, in Tempe, Ariz., in an area not clearly marked as metered. When she returned to her vehicle, Barlow found a $57 ticket from the city.
“Tourists are sitting ducks,” she complains.
Read more “Got a parking ticket on vacation? Here’s what to do”
No one likes to wait to check into a hotel. But now, with COVID-19 ravaging the world, your life may depend on it.
Travelers are resorting to some unusual strategies to speed through the check-in line. Aristide Tofani uses a trick favored by frequent business travelers: He dresses the part.
“When I’m wearing a suit and tie, the receptionists think I’m there for business and that I must be busy,” he says. So he gets waved to the elite check-in line. “Often, they give me free room upgrades.”
Read more “How to check into a hotel faster (your life may depend on it)”
Even though airlines are dropping some of their most hated fees, the era of airline fees is far from over.
Airline fees aren’t going away. If anything, they are just getting started. Experts predict airlines and other travel companies will now try even harder to bait customers with low prices and then prod them into paying extra for something they want.
In August, United Airlines announced that it would “permanently” eliminate change fees for all standard economy and premium tickets for travel within the United States. The rest of the major airlines — including American Airlines and Delta Air Lines — fell in line within days. (Southwest Airlines has never charged ticket change fees.)
Read more “Airline fees aren’t going away — they’re just getting started”
Global Entry is back. On Sept. 9, the government reopened its trusted traveler processing centers after a nearly six-month shutdown.
But it may be weeks or months before you can schedule the interview required for admission to the government’s Trusted Traveler program. And it might take even longer for a renewal.
Read more “Global Entry is back, but you’ll have to wait a while for your card”