Maybe travelers need a government bailout.
Since the pandemic started, we’ve seen the travel industry line up at the trough for government handouts. A $500 billion loan fund for hotels, $50 billion for airlines, $25 billion for travel agents.
Yeah, that’s billion with a “B.”
And what did America’s taxpayers get for it? Not much.
Travel companies didn’t have to promise to fix their abusive policies. Airlines may continue charging outrageous fees and squeezing us into small seats. Tour operators are allowed to force us into ridiculous contracts when we book a vacation. And hotels can keep on charging “gotcha” resort fees.
The latest insult is Frontier Airlines’ attempt to cash in on our collective desire to maintain social distancing. The airline tried to sell — yes, sell — the empty middle seat for an extra $39. It quickly backed off after receiving intense public criticism.
Many other travel companies just turned around and retroactively changed their refund policies to allow them to keep even more of your money.
“I’m really fuming,” says John Kovacs, a retired consultant and frequent traveler based in Denver. “They get a bailout and continue to force us into hamster-size seats.”
“Do travelers need a government bailout?”