The travel industry is strictly regulated for health and safety, a fact for which we should all be grateful. But when it comes to consumer protection — and comfort — most laws still favor businesses.
What can you expect from this year’s summer travel season?
Fewer travelers, for one. MMGY Global, a travel and hospitality marketing and research company, projects a significant slowdown in overall leisure travel this year. The decrease could affect the summer season, which runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Its travel sentiment index shows eight consecutive quarters of decline in demand since mid-2016 and an increase in price sensitivity over the same period.
“A look ahead at summer travel”
If you have a Global Entry membership, which allows you to skip some of the airport lines, lucky you. But you might want to check your expiration date.
A majority of Global Entry members who joined the program in 2012 to 2014 are applying for renewal now, according to Pete Acosta, Trusted Traveler Programs director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Factor in the coming summer travel season and this year’s partial government shutdown, and you have all the makings of a possible delay in your membership renewal.
“What you need to know about renewing your Global Entry membership”
Basic economy class airfares are getting complicated.
At least as far as passengers like Sue Elwell are concerned. She’s planning to visit her mother in Albany, N.Y., and is unhappy with the restrictions on the lowest-priced economy class tickets. On American Airlines, travelers with these tickets are allowed no upgrades or schedule changes, they’re the last to board and they’re not assigned seats until they check in.
“How to avoid basic economy class airfares”
As personal space on planes continues to shrink, all eyes are falling on the last place where you can still enjoy a small amount of dignity: the emergency exit row.
The rows leading to the “overwing” emergency exits usually still have the humane 36 inches of space necessary for quick egress during an evacuation. They also are often occupied by experienced air travelers who mind their own business. If you’re not in a special class or in one of the bulkhead seats — those in the first row of the cabin, which also have more legroom — the emergency exit row is the next best place to sit.
“In the emergency exit row, written rules, unwritten rules and growing controversy”